Occupation

Weary from decades of out-of-touch career politicos, shills of privileged greed and corrupt representatives making empty promises, the people took to the streets. As if to repave the roads their taxes had bought with all that was left of their own, they laid out what they could find to pave the way for a revolution.

Palm branches. Coats.

“Hosannah!” They shout. They welcome the rumored messiah with the announcement of an heir of their greatest king and a reign long gone. Jesus arrives on a donkey.

And where does he go? To challenge the gates of the occupying Roman puppet government? To take his army of protesters on a raid of the armory? To redistribute the hoarded wealth of Herod’s treasury?

Jesus occupies the Jewish worship space. He not only drives out those who have overtaken the space of prayer for the sake of commodification, he stands in the way of anyone who would use it as a stepping stone to gain. The One who comes to give his life without condition will protect any who come here seeking shelter from those who wish to make hope conditional.

And as he reclaims the space for God, he tears out the flags of all who have claimed this ground as their own. The house of God is not the property of a chosen people rented for the right price; it is God’s place for all peoples.

“The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.”

As we watch our fellow citizens express their weariness in the face of a system that cannot deliver on the promises it has made, may we remember that we have been called together to serve as a living house of God.

We are the place God has set aside for all nations, for all people, to find a genuine welcome, and a community whose economy is based in self-gift to the other and protection from exploitation. We have been trained to occupy our streets, to make a way for a new kind of politics. May we find whatever we can to pave the way for the Christ who is coming. May we be a sign that God is for them.

Lord, have mercy. We’ve got room for all 100%.

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