Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Whitewashed Tombs

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?

“Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'” Matthew 23:27-39 

Whitewashed Tombs

We strut around as if things are great
turning our eyes away from daily horrors
crimes of neglect, greed and hypocrisy
our selfishness has damaged so many.

We have shut the door on the poor
built walls and laws to punish refugees
shunned the other, blamed the victim
treated the brave testimony as silly.

We have turned our backs on need
we have hard hearts and thick heads
we shut out the world, mask our windows
turn up the volume in gated communities.

The children who are gathered to God
are those we have spurned, rejected
nestled under those tender wings
are those who will lead us very soon.

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