Holy Week, Tuesday: Cleansing the Temple

When Solomon dedicated the Temple he rightly declared that not even the Heaven of Heavens could contain almighty God, much less this temple made with hands, yet God himself still came into the temple. He came as a baby, the essence of all light and purity in human flesh, he came as a young boy full of questions, seeking to know his father’s will, and today he came in righteous anger to clear away the blasphemous barriers that human power-games try to throw up between God and the world he loves. Then finally, by his death on the cross he took away the last barrier in the Temple, and in our hearts, the veil that stood between us and the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, in us and beyond us.

This sonnet, and the others I will be posting for Holy Week are all drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA and physical copies are shortly to be available in Canada via Steve Bell‘s Signpost Music. The book is now also out on Kindle. Please feel free to make use of these sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.

I’m grateful to Lancia Smith for the image.

Cleansing the Temple


Come to your Temple here with liberation

And overturn these tables of exchange

Restore in me my lost imagination

Begin in me for good, the pure change.

Come as you came, an infant with your mother,

That innocence may cleanse and claim this ground

Come as you came, a boy who sought his father

With questions asked and certain answers found,

Come as you came this day, a man in anger

Unleash the lash that drives a pathway through

Face down for me the fear the shame the danger

Teach me again to whom my love is due.

Break down in me the barricades of death

And tear the veil in two with your last breath.



Filed under christianity, Poems

6 responses to “Holy Week, Tuesday: Cleansing the Temple

  1. You sonnet recalled the following Scripture passages:

    “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He
    will accomplish for you today” (Exodus 14:13);
    “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes” (1 Samuel 12:16); and
    “Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 20:17).

    Salvation is of the Lord! Oh! What a great things He has done for us!

  2. Excuse the typos. You=your (first word) and things=thing (last line).

  3. Al Fleming

    Dear Malcolm,

    Your words, your work and your mission inspire me.

    I learned of you through my equally deep appreciation of Steve Bell’s work.

    I particularly admire your collective work on Alana Levandoski’s, The Christ Hymn. Are there any other spoken word music selections you have recorded?

    May God richly bless you this Holy Week.

    Al Fleming

    Sent from my iPhone


    • malcolmguite

      Thanks Al. I’m
      Just working on a cd combining music and spoken word which should come out this summer and be available through Steve’s site

  4. Marsha Garrison

    I’ve been waking up eager to read these Holy Week sonnets…read today with the terrible news from Brussels in the background. A sonnet about fear, anger and love is as good a prayer as any for today.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.