In Chapter 21 of his account of Jesus’ ministry, Matthew preserves a story about Jesus’ confrontation of hypocrites who had converted his Father’s house (or temple) from a reminder of God’s abiding presence with us into a den of thieves as if God had abandoned us to their thieving ways. Having received the benefit of Jesus’ insights into the nature of our Heavenly Parent and His/Her abiding presence internally within all of us universally rather than limited to one specific external building, we are today confronted with another form of culture-wide hypocrisy. Now we are confronted by the reality that our Father’s house is occupied by a din of thieves, a racket caused by racketeering. Our Father’s house or temple is the convergence of our hearts and minds as the holy venue within which God makes Himself/Herself known to us. In this modern era, hypocrites have conspired to occupy this venue with a racket that drowns out the still, small voice of God speaking unceasingly within us but unheard above the din of thieves.
It is time to throw out the din of thieves and listen to God’s Spirit within the silence that ensues. The racket is a racket, the means of racketeering by which those who have no respect for our Creator Father/Mother have taken over our minds and hearts with false worries and concerns that are totally within the power of our Divine Parent to address if only we’d allow Him/Her to do so. The din of thieves calls to us to put our trust in whatever the hypocrites are hawking as their current goods and services. Racketeering is a business enterprise based on creating a false sense of need and then meeting that need. Today we are surrounded by them. That they increasingly plague us at every turn is eloquently demonstrated by the Internet gurus’ infinite capacity to devise ways to catch our attention and relentlessly pursue us according to our personal vulnerabilities.
The pursuit of our hearts and minds began with the pitch, “Be the first on your block to own XYZ.” Now it has escalated to the mad rush for doorbusters to beat the crowd to marketplace bargains. It continues to escalate with personal apps to allow us instant access to all the nonsense we can stomach. To possess what we do not need and satisfy falsely generated cravings, we rush away from our hearts and lose our minds within the clutches of addictive lifestyles promoted by the din of thieves. We are robbed of our peace of mind and joy of heart by our investment in trinkets to sacrifice to our false gods. The only sacrifice we are making is the sacrifice of truth upon the altar of the ego’s lies. We even pride ourselves in our proficiency at accumulating such invaluables at the lowest possible cost to our bank accounts, disregarding the cost to the quality of our lives.
We can cease to believe in the racketeering enterprises and throw out the din of thieves from our lives – if we choose to do so. Old-fashioned racketeers would threaten us with broken knee caps if we did not pay the premium for keeping the knee-cap bashers away from us. First such racketeers created the “problem” of broken knee caps and then offered their solution, a solution profitable to them. Today we are surrounded by many such rackets by which we are offered solutions to problems that the din of thieves creates. For example, we are offered drugs, entertainment and possessions – legally distributed and illegally distributed – to soothe our anxieties and distract us from our fears of otherwise living lives devoid of meaning, purpose or direction. Having followed the crowds who have become mesmerized by the din of thieves, we find ourselves robbed of lives worth living. In our adolescence, just when we are designed by our developmentally blossoming divinity to plunge ever deeper into life’s amazing adventure, we find ourselves misdirected by pressures to conform to the shallow ways of modern society. Amid the din of thieves we find it almost impossible to think for ourselves or to think at all. So we succumb to the group-non-think of the masses and “go along to get along.” We fear rocking the boat because we know what happened to Jesus when he confronted the moneyed powers in the marketplace our Father’s house had become. So we remain in our arrested development seemingly unable to move beyond adolescent issues and fail to attain truly enriching and rewarding maturity.
We focus too much upon the crucifixion and ignore the resurrection. Do the hypocrites have the last word when they crucify the Word made flesh? Did they with Jesus? Will they with you and me? The hypocrites who generate the din and cause a great racket throughout our culture are amplified by technology, but technology is not divine nor is it eternal. Being neutral, neither inherently “good” or “evil,” technology offers opportunities to channel energy to generate distractions that occupy and destroy our hearts and minds or to share ideas that nurture them. To which use are you putting technology?
In which direction are you focusing the receptive qualities of your heart and mind? Are you devoted to participating in the din of thieves or to participating in the peace of God that both surpasses all understanding and passes divine understanding onto us for our health and benefit? Into whose hands do you commend your spirit when you feel threatened by crucifixion on account of having dared to think for yourself? Do you put your mind and heart upon the things of God or upon the things of humankind? Do you render what is God’s unto God or unto the Caesars of this world? Do you honor yourself, your gifts and your life’s opportunities as ultimately God’s and devote them to God’s service or do you declare them to be merely mortal attributes that live no longer than your body lives and waste them carelessly?
Amid the din of thieves, there comes a time for every man, woman and child to decide with whom and for what he or she stands. If the present din of thieves has become so overwhelming as to confront you with its hypocrisy . . . If you can no longer hide from the fact of the hypocrisy that has overtaken our society . . . Weep not. Fear not. For behold once again there is good news from heaven, news from within the core of your being. If you feel it now as your read this message, rejoice . . . for it is God’s love for you that you sense within you. It is the energy of love rising up to greet a new day as it dawns within your heart and mind. God has not forgotten you. Nor has He/She forgotten promises made to you from the beginning of time. Now is the time for Eternity to come to Earth as it calls us all to gather as God’s people – as one in Spirit and in Truth, as divine beings of love here to gather in celebration of the reality of God’s grace singing out amid the din of thieves and lifting our hearts and minds beyond it.
As Christ once threw out money-changers from his Father’s house, let us now allow the Christ of our beings to throw out the memory-changers from our hearts and minds and once again remember who we are. Who we are to God is who we are – to ourselves and to each other. Thanks be to our Father/Mother who art in heaven.
© Art Nicol 2017