Will the Truth set us Free?

It is the Third Sunday of Lent – We’ve been looking at Lent through the story of Divergent a book and film of teenage fiction – which like so many of its genre begins with a world torn apart by war with a society attempting to put itself back together.  Five society groups exist called factions each with their own speciality or focus and we’ve met Tris already from the Abnegation faction who dismiss the self image and live a life of service for others.  Tris was unhappy living with the abnegation and chooses to leave her family and all she knows to be a part of the brave and courageous faction Dauntless.  But this Sunday we reflect on another, the faction Candor.  They believe in honesty and speak the truth in all things.  “The Truth will set you free”. “The truth will out.” Is that right? The Truth hurts is more likely.  Which do we believe is more true?  The Candor faction in this society value truth over all else – always they speak what is true even when you wish they wouldn’t.  Like a child who happens on a conversation of hushed tones and speaks what everyone else is not saying and often immediately there is a release of the tension, but often too the truth does hurt.  Tris in her new faction of dauntless is befriended by a fellow faction transfer Christina who was candor and she come face to face with someone who has lived a life of speaking truth at all times.  For Tris, truth is not something that is familiar to her and yet here at dauntless she is about to come face to face with the truth of who she really is.  The knowledge that she herself is someone who would be seen as dangerous.  Her true self coming to the fore could be dangerous – like any truth it could set her free, but at what cost.  Jesus walks into the temple and begins with some home truths to those who are selling animals for sacrifice and changing money.  This temple is not about money, or about your need to sacrifice or about your traditions or even about getting it right.  This is a place for prayer and for reflection upon yourself – speak the truth about who you are.  Truth hurts, but it liberates as well.  Lent is a liberation of our selves – of who we are when no-one is looking.  Are we able to be true to that self?  Tris is not yet able to be true to her self, she has to hide her true identity underneath the veil of her new chosen faction dauntless, for if she reveals the truth she will be hunted down for being a threat to the very society she is a part of.  And Jesus too threatened his society, not with weapons, but with the honest reflection of people upon themselves.  He reflected their very life back upon them and the truth hurt.  They had become blinded in the temple by the system, the process and forgot what it was for.  He exposes the elitist and unjust system of the Temple for what it is with a simple truth, this is a house of prayer, you have made it into a den of thieves.  Worship and prayer to God should be the first priority for our temple building.  It is about our transformation, about changing ourselves, reflecting more closely the image of God in which we were created.  We are great at putting things in the way of this simple truth so that our worship becomes some sort of worthiness contest and we end up maintaining the container and hardly anyone gets the contents, hardly anyone wins.  Speaking truth in the face of what might seem a powerful opposition can be difficult and Tris comes face to face with a society that is not ready and does not want to hear her truth.  The Society of the temple did not want to hear the truth that Jesus offered them about their systems being self serving and unjust.  Put the focus back where it belongs.  Lent too is a time for resetting, for allowing the truth to be spoken out, a cleansing of our own temples throwing out what gets in the way and returning to reflect more closely the image of God in which we were created.  Tris must yet face her fears and reflect her true self for the truth will set her free and indeed us, if only we have the courage to speak it and allow ourselves to be reflections of who we truly are, reflections of the one in whose image we are created, that is, the eternal christ.