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Taking Sides?

He made a kind of whip of cords and drove sheep and oxen alike out of the temple area, and knocked over the money-changers' tables, spilling their coins
Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19:8-11; I Corinthians 1:22-25; John 2:13-25

Sermon Week Third Sunday of Lent Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 2:15

A husband and wife, together with their teenage son, were invited to a neighbor’s wedding. For the boy, it was the first time attending such an affair. As the family entered the Church, an usher extended his elbow and asked, “Are you on the bride’s side or the groom’s?” Before his parents could respond, the boy whispered, “Are they taking sides already?”

Into every loving relationship comes the inevitable quarrel that moves those involved into their respective corners, holding fast to their version of the truth. And as the saying goes, there are three sides to every story: Yours, mine, and the truth.

From a more sensitive perspective, a pastor has written that a lover's quarrel "is like a storm at sea; all the fury is on the surface, but underneath there is a deep current of love." -1

Engraved on the tombstone of poet Robert Frost are these words: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world." Frost himself chose that epitaph. What it means, really, is that he had a lover's quarrel with God. And, whether we realize or not, the same is true of us all. We have an ongoing lover's quarrel with the world and with God because of the evil we encounter in our lives. Why is there so much war and hatred? Why so much sickness and sorrow? Why so much anxiety and insecurity? Why so much loneliness and emptiness? Why death? Why did God make such an imperfect world?

We sometimes despair that the world is not perfect, forgetting that if it were, there might not be a place for us in it and there might not be a place for our loved ones in it, for we all fall short of perfection. It was into this world that we were called. It was into this world that our loved ones were called. Consequently, whenever we quarrel with God's world, let's be sure that it's a lover's quarrel. Let's never forget to love this world because it is a gift of Grace; it is a gift of God. -2

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