A Letter to my Kids: I Want You to Be a Table-Flipper

by Caroline Saunders

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Dear Babies,

You’ve already heard hundreds of stories about Jesus, and you’ll continue to hear them as you grow up. I’m glad about this, but I know we become numb to familiar things. So I want you to remember this: No matter how regularly you hear about Jesus, don’t for a second think He’s regular. Common. Easy to predict. You see Him as a cartoon in your books, but He’s real, and everything He did made people’s jaws drop.

Did you know that one time Jesus flipped over tables at church and yelled at people? That’s not regular.

See, at that time, the temple was the most special place because it’s where the Spirit of God actually lived. It was special and set-apart because of Who lived there, and people weren’t treating it that way. They were treating it like a mall or a farmer’s market.

Jesus’s reaction teaches us something: the temple is something we should fiercely protect.

When Jesus died on the cross, the special, thick curtain that was in the temple was strangely ripped in half. It tore to teach us something: that the Spirit of God no longer lives in temple buildings. Now the Spirit of God lives in temple bodies. Bodies like mine, and bodies like yours. The Spirit of God lives in the bodies of the people who believe in Jesus, who have chosen to follow Him always.

So, babies, we have to remember that the temple body is special and set-apart because of Who lives there, and we have to make sure we treat it that way. We have to be willing to flip over tables and make a scene.

Sweet babies, I want you to be like Jesus. I want you to be a table-flipper. I want you to be irregular.

But that’s only one piece of the complex Jesus puzzle. We have to remember that He walked into God’s house to flip over tables—He didn’t walk into other people’s houses and flip over tables. Instead, He stepped into their houses, pulled up a chair, and ate with them. He spoke to impure people with tenderness and affection. This made a scene, too. Onlookers were shocked to see Jesus talk to and be gentle towards people who did all kinds of bad stuff. His kindness drew them to repentance. Sitting at the table with Jesus didn’t sound like a normal meal, with the familiar clangs of utensils and the smack of chewing bread. It sounded like chains falling off. It sounded like a freedom cry.

Don’t you see, babies? Jesus isn’t regular at all! He’s different from everyone else. Who else would be so defiant of the social code of the religious sect yet simultaneously so insistent upon togetherness with God? Who else would be so fiercely protective of temple purity yet so fiercely loving towards those who do not practice personal purity?

We have a lot of learn, babies. We’ll start with the cartoon books, for now. But there is a lifetime of wonder ahead, a lifetime of discovery about a Jesus Who is anything but regular. A Jesus Who stirs the pot yet throws no stones. A Jesus Who yells at religious leaders yet cries with His friends. This is our wonderfully irregular Jesus, and He’s worth following.

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