One of the stories I remember from being a child in church was that of Jesus clearing out the temple. I have a picture of a place full of tables and Jesus angry, moving about, turning over the tables. People scattered, running away from what they had done wrong.
This passage was one of the lectionary readings recently. I doubt many of us have money changers in our the lobbies of our churches or tables set up to sell perfect, flawless doves, but the passage does bring to mind questions that we should consider:
The money changers were set up in the outer courtyard, and they became an impediment to worshipers who were not allowed to progress further into the temple. What is it that we place in the way of people that prevents them from worshiping God? We think we would never do that, and that we are welcoming, but I suspect we need to think harder about it.
The money changers thought (or at least some of them did) that they were fulfilling a need dictated by the law. What are we doing with the best of intentions that we think is God's will that Jesus would ask us to stop doing? What are we doing in compliance with the law that is not a statement of love?
Jesus had to clear out the temple. What is in our lives - either as a church or as a person - that Jesus is asking us - demanding us - to clean out?