Jesus Clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12

Don’t stop with the cheat at the table
or the liar standing in the way;

Just like You upset the advantaged few
or the in-on-it many;

Come and clear out the orgy in me,
Your house of prayer.

“Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” 1

Extricate the tentacles of false delights,
Extract the poison of false passions,
Extinguish the heat of false fires.

No. Don’t stop now.

Just like You hovered over the chaos
in primordial times;

Make this moment an eternal one
and make it holy unto Yourself.

“Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Inspire life into those dormant reaches,
Impute rightness to the wrong turns,
Inject the joy of restored relationships.

Or, is it too late to ask forgiveness,
yet again and again?

To sonar Your fathomless mercy,
To sound out in a terrible wilderness,
To echo deep canyons of mystery?

You, its You, Beauty ever ancient, ever new. 2

I thought I was the stain in Your Art Gallery,
but even so, You will not deny me
for You cannot deny Yourself.

Therefore, as You displace the bags of loose change,
the furniture of self advantage,
and the whores of my own fantasy,

I worship You in Your house of prayer;
My heart, as it is:

The foul rag-and-bone shop, 3
My out-house of horrors,
The table of unfair exchange.

So don’t stop at the door way;
Come all the way in and all the way through
Until You clear the temple – Your house of prayer in me.

“Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”


1. Known as the “Jesus Prayer” based on the prayer of the Tax Collector in the parable in Luke 18:13.

2. From Augustine’s Confessions, Book 10, Chapter 27, note December 10, 2014: Late Have I Loved You.

3. From W.B. Yeats, The Circus Animals’ Desertion.

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
This entry was posted in Poems, Prayers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Jesus Clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12

  1. Pingback: Audacious Subversion and Humble Recognition | More Enigma Than Dogma

  2. fbenedict says:

    Wow, what an honor to read this! Your writing is so deep and rich. Have you published this anywhere? I’d love to reblog it if that’s okay with you.


  3. fbenedict says:

    Reblogged this on Write Forest Write and commented:
    This profound poem was shared with me today by another Seeker. I am honored to share it with those looking for deeper spiritual growth and intimacy.


  4. fbenedict says:

    Rusty, thought you’d want to see this. Another writer shared your poem as a resource at the bottom of this article –


  5. Thanks; it is because of the connection with you that 2K posted it. And as you can see, I have been going to more of your earlier posts to find that shared theme of grace in our lives. Thanks again. r


  6. Pingback: There but for the grace of God, go I | More Enigma Than Dogma

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.