Mark 11:11-17 What's it all about?
We are looking at 3 target areas to make our church more healthy.
Real Hospitality - New Housing Areas - Relevant Worship all to improve our Need Oriented Evangelism. We call them Heart, Home & Heaven. This is about the life of Heaven – Relevant Worship.
Figs and fiddlers.
Jesus being unfair? Jesus being angry? What's going on?
How relevant are these two stories if you don't like figs or do gardening or if you don't pay to get into the cathedral anyway?
But what if we ask about what you do with your anger?
Who are you angry with and why?
What makes you angry?- really. Think about your last outburst-
Losing things when in a rush. Kids being awkward or defiant. Being cut up or tailgated.
Someone not texting or turning up. Plastic wrapping that you can't undo. The boss. The taxman. Waiting for the NHS. These are not Jesus' issues.
No fruit. No sign of fruit. This is about using resources with no result. This is not the life of heaven. Not how the creator designed it. Jesus kills it. This is not punishment or retribution it is action to remedy a wrong.
Corruption. Exploitation. Dishonesty. Power in the hands of the mercenary. Worship controlled by those who are not worshiping. Jesus drives them out of the temple. This is not punishment or retribution it is action to remedy a wrong.
The things that should make us angry are the things that made Jesus angry.
People and structures that use up resources with no positive results. Waste, whether it is leaking water mains or an endless cycle of military or economic repression. Regulation ostensibly to protect people's health which leads to food being destroyed at the end of the day rather than being given to those who are starving. Where can we cut out this waste as Jesus cut out the fruitless fig tree.
Worship is relevant when it allows us to bring as much as we know of ourselves to as much as we know of God.
Can anger be part of worship? If we look at something and think “No! That's not right!” then we are shining the light of heaven onto it. When we say “This has to change!” we are pronouncing heavens judgement. And when we say “This is how we will change it” then we are bringing in the kingdom of God. That is relevant worship.
We need to bring our anger to God and ask: does this make you angry too Lord? How do I respond in my righteous anger? Well Jesus didn't hang about- he acted.
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger” Act not for punishment or retribution but act to remedy a wrong. Then anger can be worship too.