Renewal and Restoration
Renewal and Restoration

Renewal and Restoration

Good Morning,

Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for the third Sunday of Lent, March 3, 2024.

In today’s sermon on John 2:13-22, I explore how Jesus disrupts the corrupted religious structures within the temple, symbolizing the need for personal and societal transformation. Just as the physical temple was destroyed and rebuilt, we are called to dismantle the barriers of pride and power in our lives, embracing the transformative power of the cross. Through reflection, prayer, and action, we can walk the way of the cross, embodying love, humility, and renewal in our daily lives.

And continuing today, after the 10:30am service coffee hour, those who wish to participate in our “Faith Around The Table” faith study based on the reflection questions below can gather in St. Mark’s Hall.

Today’s Opening Sentence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3.16

Today’s Reading – John 2:13-22

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.1

Your Online Message and Prayers

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Reflection questions for the week: 

  • Reflect on the “structures of pride, power, and privilege” mentioned in the sermon. What are some areas in your life where these structures may be present? How might acknowledging and dismantling these structures lead to personal transformation?
  • Consider the symbol of the cross as a pathway to restoration and renewal. How can you actively embrace the transformative power of the cross in your daily life? Are there specific practices or attitudes you can cultivate to align more closely with Christ’s example of selflessness and love?
  • Reflect on the analogy of the temple’s destruction and rebuilding as a metaphor for personal growth and spiritual renewal. What are some aspects of your life that may need to be “torn down” or reexamined in order to make room for God’s transformative work? How can you cultivate openness to change and allow God to work in these areas?
  • Think about concrete steps you can take to incorporate the idea of having a heart open to God’s work of renewal and restoration in you into your daily routine. How can you make space for quiet reflection and prayer to invite the Holy Spirit’s guidance? Are there specific actions or habits you can adopt to live more intentionally in alignment with God’s will and the teachings of Christ?

A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.

Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.

Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.

God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!


The Rev’d Canon Rob Park

  1. Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.