This Sunday we will consider lessons from scripture that address these very issues. In our gospel reading from John, Jesus asserts his authority over the disorder and corruption in the Temple, but his reasons and explanation for his authority confound his listeners; they did not know how to understand his message that HE, his own body, was the Temple. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains that God deliberately confounds the wisdom and understanding of this world, replacing all its notions of power with the foolishness of the cross. As we hear repeatedly throughout scripture, God’s Kingdom inverts the hierarchies we create, that the way of scandal to our understanding and of foolishness to our eyes IS the Way.
The story of Exodus is filled with confusion and fear among the Israelites as they journey through the wilderness toward God’s promise of return to their home. They often wanted to return to Egypt, to give up hope and imagination and embrace death. Through all of this, God remained faithful and never gave up on them. Through Moses, God gave them the Decalogue, the “Ten Words” to guide them and hold them fast on their way through the wilderness.
God’s Word is with us, too, there to guide us and show us the way through our present wilderness. In our worship—in the great story of scripture, in the movement of music, in the words of prayer, in the transformative power of the Eucharist—we are enabled to reflect and reorient our lives, strengthening our confidence in the reign of God and our souls and bodies for the journey ahead.