Third Sunday of Lent: Holy Disruption

Today’s readings
Versión en español

If I’m honest, my default image of Jesus is that of a restorer. The stories of him healing, raising up, or calming the sea resonate most with me. Yet today’s Gospel requires me to ponder a decidedly different image: Jesus the disrupter. 

Nothing in John’s passage of the cleansing of the Temple is gentle, and in fact, Jesus is downright formidable: spilling coins, overturning tables, fashioning a whip from cords… It’s because Jesus is livid, and for good reason. While it may not feel comfortable or natural for us to imagine Jesus as angry, the truth is, at times he chose anger to disrupt injustice. The corruption and greed at the Temple during Passover had gotten out of hand; the marketplace bazaar had overrun the holy ground and something drastic needed to be done.

In my advocacy to end the death penalty in the United States, executions are regular reminders to me that death-dealing and disregard for human life has gotten out of hand. Six weeks ago, the state of Alabama executed Kenny Smith by lethal gas. It was appalling and shocking; I was furious and every fiber of my being felt upended by the barbarous act.  I communicated that indignation in the press: “What in the world…have we lost our minds?”  

Jesus’ anger in the Temple — my experiencing Jesus the disrupter — feels, well, consoling, like a friend locking arms in solidarity in response to witnessing injustice. And so I will welcome the challenge in this Lenten passage to remember Jesus as a holy disrupter.

If I’m continuing to be honest, our Lenten journey toward refreshment could benefit from a touch of disruption, adding an appropriate dose of agitation and gravity to this season of soul searching and repentance. The journey toward healing and restoration often requires it.

So maybe it’s time to ponder how and where I am called to disrupt injustice, and in what ways I might be in desperate need of disruption myself.  

  • How might Jesus be disrupting me, calling for me to change, in this season of repentance?
  • Where is God inviting me to be a disrupter of injustice?  
  • What holy disruption may I need to make this Lent?
2 replies
  1. Cathe
    Cathe says:

    Love your reflection: Jesus the Disrupter! That shows his hunger for justice and his passion. Two very important qualities for those who profess to be followers of Jesus. Jesus balances those values with the values of welcome, tenderness, kindness, compassion and inclusion for everyone. I pray for that type of balance!

  2. sonja
    sonja says:

    A disrupter of injustice. It’s time to dismantle agism, and allow everyone to keep working and contributing constructively to our society. That way the state collects more taxes, and incurs less health care costs.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *