Making a whip of cords, Jesus drove all of them out of the temple. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. – John 2:15 (NRSV)
How’s that rage of yours? Have you got it pushed into some jack-in-the-box, waiting to be cranked into exploding? Some days it feels like that, doesn’t it? Some days, I could smash half the world and walk away happy. But anger has a habit of turning on itself, especially if you try to push it down or run away from it.
Jesus was not one to run away. How could he run from what was happening? All that colluding between the temple hierarchy and the Roman state. All that profiteering at the expense of the weak. It would have made anybody furious. He hit his breaking point wielding that whip, animals squealing, wood splintering, coins clattering.
Sometimes the answer to that famous question “WWJD” – What would Jesus do? – is not always what we think. So don’t feel like you have to be nice all the time. Don’t feel like you always have to accommodate and compromise and stir in all that honey. Go ahead, do it, release your inner table-over-turner. If you see something, say something. Be angry, and let your anger erupt in a creative energy that, once loosed, will be fearless in resolve and a powerful sign to those without hope that all is not lost.
God, you see it, don’t you? You see that unbounded greed loose in the world. You see the bullies running amok. Help us get angry to a purpose. Direct our rage like a laser and let us cause enough commotion to call attention, to stir resolve, and to catalyze your people.
Anne Hoffmann contributed this devotional to Rise Up! Spirituality for Resistance, a collection of devotionals to keep you burning bright without burning out, whether you’re leading a justice effort at church or heading out to join a local protest. Order Rise Up! today.