The Cleansing of the Temple
Holy Week Monologues
This is a series of monologues that take us through the final week of Jesus life. The stories are told in the voices of women who were there. As we move from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday these stories invite us to hear anew the ancient words and see through a new lens.
The Cleansing of the Temple is the second in the seven part series.
A monologue will be published on my blog each day throughout Holy Week with the monologue corresponding to that particular day.
Click here to download the full series. I am pleased to offer it as a free resource.
The Cleansing of the Temple
My name is Anna, although few people knew it and even fewer ever said it. I was one of those who were among the unseen. Some, who couldn't close their eyes, saw me as a beggar. I was here because of circumstance. My husband died and left me without home or status. With no way to make a living I sought sustenance in any way I could. While I had nothing to speak of from a material perspective, I did have my faith. I knew the stories of the ancestors and the Divine presence that led them from slavery into freedom. I knew the divine directives to care for the widow and the orphan and I held on to the hope that someday someone would hear and heed. For many years I went to the temple to find solace and to have my soul fed but that stopped when the temple became more and more a place of commerce and power.
I remember well the day that the spirit rose and blew through the temple ushering in a time of change. Earlier that day I joined the pilgrims on the way to Passover and what turned out to be the entry of a man named Jesus of Nazareth into the city. I heard the stories about him over the last couple of years but never had the opportunity to hear him for myself. Many wondered if he was the Chosen one for whom we had waited. He was a man of deep faith and compassion. He spoke to all about justice and mercy. He was a healer of body, mind and spirit. He was on a donkey, a very strange sight really and the people were excited. They shouted words of praise, as if he was indeed a king. I fell in behind him wondering what he was going to do; praying that it would be dramatic and transforming but nothing could have prepared me for what happened. Through the city streets he rode and headed straight for the temple. I almost stopped then, knowing that I would not be allowed to go inside but something pushed me forward. He entered, I stayed outside and listened.
It was then that the doors of the temple opened. Those inside were sent out and the ignored, rejected and oppressed were let in.
While life for me would still be a struggle in that moment something amazing happened and I stepped out on the road to freedom.
Today, I ask you to remember his anger at injustice; remember his instructions that this is a place of prayer for all the nations; and may you continue to keep your doors open that I may enter in and be fed for the journey.
© 2019 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury.