Opening an area
Above is a photo of a large-scale model of the temple at the time of Jesus. Herod the
Great Builder had added onto the second temple which was started after the people
returned from exile in Babylon. The renovation was ongoing until it was destroyed by
the Romans in 70 AD.
As you can see, there were different
sections to the temple. The Holy of
Holies (to the right) was at the
center. During the first temple the
The Ark of the Covenant was inside,
which the Israelites carried with them
from the desert to the Promised
Land. It contained the tablet of the
Ten Commandments, which will be
read as a part of our Old Testament
Lesson on Sunday. The Ark was
taken after the Babylonian capture of
Jerusalem. In the second temple,
there was just an area where it
would have been. The Romans were
not welcome there. Pompey who
conquered Jerusalem had profaned
the area in 63 BC and golden
vessels were taken later by Titus.
Still, this was a sacred area which
was entered just once a year by the
High Priest on Yom Kippur to offer a
sacrifice for the sins of the High
Priest and of the people.
You can see from the diagram above that after the Holy of Holies there was an area for
the rest of the priests and then for Jewish men. The Court of Jewish Women was next,
then the inner courts and finally the Court of the Gentiles where persons interested in
the Jewish faith could observe Jewish worship.

During the busy of Passover, I believe this gentile area was encroached upon by the
money changers and the sellers of sacrificial animals. Their tables were set up as a
convenience for Jewish people coming from distances.
The sellers of animals were there for people who might not be able to bring animals with
them for sacrifice. People could purchase them there. Mary and Joseph may have done
this when they sacrificed a pair of turtledoves or pigeons for Jesus (Luke 2:24). Much of
the world at the time sacrificed animals to their gods. In the Old Testament, it started as
an act of reverence for the life of the animal. By the time of Jesus, it was more of a
commercial enterprise. Purchase a life for sacrifice to appease God or curry favor.
The money changers were in the area because Roman money with the imprint of
Ceasar was not welcome in the temple. Especially after their desecration of the Holy of
I believe what incensed Jesus as he entered the temple was that the Gentiles were
pushed out. Romans had been insensitive to the Holy of Holies. The sellers were
insensitive to the interest of the rest of the world in the Jewish faith.
How could God’s house be a House of Prayer for all people with money changers and
animal sellers setting up in their area? They were a den of thieves, not because they
charged too much, but because they robbed the gentiles of any chance to envision God in
that place. Gentiles were uninvited by these actions.
Jesus was always one who welcomed the world into the worship of God. His first
sermon in Nazareth ended with his hometown congregation trying to throw him off a cliff
(Luke 4:28-29). Why? Because he saw the hand of God reaching out to all the world not
just the people of his hometown or his home country.
When you look at a map of the world what do you see? A world loved by God (John
3:16)? When I look at the world, I see women included, people of different sexual
orientations included wherever the Gospel Light has reached. Not in every Christian
corner of course. Southern Baptists, Catholics, and the Missouri Synod still do not ordain
women; some don’t even let women vote. Also, you do not see equality for women or
differences in sexual orientation in Muslim countries or communist countries either.
Jesus makes a point as he drives the sellers and money changers out. Open this area,
open your hearts to the diversity in this world God created and loves.
Jesus, you drove out the money changers and animal sellers out so your house might be
a House of Prayer for all people. Open an area in our hearts to the creative variety of
the cosmos so that we might welcome all who seek you. Who are the people you calling us
to invite in?
Grace and Peace,

Pastor John Bunge

Souper Studies on the Life of Peter in the Fireside room @ 5 pm. We are using Adam
Hamilton’s book Simon Peter, Flawed but Faithful Disciple.
Time of Meditation –Nelson Hall is leading a time of prayer and meditation on
Thursdays @ 1 pm. He and Karen are gone this week, so put it on your calendar for
next week. This group joins in unity of prayer and meditation. They also pray for our prayer
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th.
The pastor will be in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays through March.
Confirmation Classes meet each week at 11:15 am.
Next Pantry – February 24. Thanks for your response with grocery bags. Special
Offerings during Lent will go to support this ministry, which served 60-plus families last
week. Many are elderly.
Pick up – Thanks to Joe Koenig, our current saintly man of Faith, who picks up the food
from Feeding America on Thursday mornings at 6 am. We could use a backup just in
case. Let Carol know if you are interested.
Choir – We practice at 9:00 am before services.
WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study will be March 2 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside
QUILTING – Emily Smith’s Group (909.255.2452) has completed 16 for Central City
Lutheran Mission and 6 for Lutheran World Relief. They also gave 23 lap quilts to
Smiles Seniors of Yucaipa.
Praise for your Prayers
Brenda Batt’s grandson Bronson has not had a headache for a few weeks. Thanks for
the prayers.
 Pray for the Cady family. Steve’s mother Donna passed away in her sleep on Monday
morning at 6 am. She had been in Hospice for several weeks, having fallen several
times. She requested no funeral or memorial service so there are no plans as yet.
 Erwin is in need of back surgery which will be this week. Erwin also appreciates our
continued prayers for Lynda.
 Eloise is still home recovering. Thanks, Carol, for your visit to her.
 The Koenig Family –Jeanne’s stint is draining the accumulating spinal fluid which is
affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills, but needs our continued prayers. We
are also praying for daughter, Jessica, as her leukemia leaves her tired. Lucas is in our
 Kyle and Dana’s son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, cancer was found even after surgery.
 Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle.
 The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of
housing for themselves and the twins.
 Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.

We have decided on a bulletin board and will be putting it up in the Fireside Room so
we can display lots of pictures of Faith in action.
If you have any that you have taken, please forward via email to Debi Hitter, She will print them for the bulletin board and pass them on
to Lauren for the website.
A special! special! Thank you to Diane Watson for providing cookies from the
Cookie Company on the 18th.
FEBRUARY 25 –— It definitely was fun to yell Bingo!
“ We had fun.” “Let’s do this more often.”
“Great prizes!” “Dave & Bonnie should
do the announcing all the time.”–Thanks
23 people played 55 cards. 156
meatballs were consumed. And the
entire salad made by Michelle and Yvette Mureaux was

If you have any items– male, female, younger teens, kids — that could be used
for prizes, please mark Bingo and leave it on the pew in the office.
We will be playing several times in the year, so please help us with small- –
medium prizes. –before you give away items, please consider us your Goodwill
Mission – We have a place to store them. Thanks!


MARCH 10 – 75 Anniversary Thanks Recognition to our OUTREACH committee–
Fellowship Team and Quilters – Paula and Aiden will provide their fabulous Ramon
Soup. Karen will provide the Chocolate Cake.

MARCH 17 – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY – Please wear your green.
Reuben Sandwiches, sauerkraut, Jerry Mill’s fabulous potato salad, Karen
Hall’s delicious chocolate cake.
St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, he likened the three-
leaf clover to the Triune God and taught us Courage.