Calm after the storms…life goes on…we pick up the pieces and begin again. We are not defeated but victorious, not beaten down but given new life, energy to start anew. God’s word is alive and active in us…
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.
28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Pasted from <http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/23.htm>
Clean and righteous appearing on the outside, dirty and dead on the inside. This is what practiced religious ritual looks like when the spirit is not involved. And so the questions come…
Is what we believe really real? Do we live it? Or are we guilty as well of the practiced words and deeds done and spoken without love, without life? Are we expressing and living a life that leads others to Christ? Or are we guilty of religious talk and no walk?
Is God’s Word alive and active within us? Are we real?
Upon examination will the inside of our cup and dish be found clean, washed in the cleansing blood of the Lamb? Does God’s love shine with radiance on the outside, like the lovely gardens in which the tombs are found, but the grave is empty because we are alive and risen with Christ? Christ came to bring life and that more abundantly. Does His joy shine outward from us or are we burdened with the stuff of everyday problems and the inability to let Him carry them for us? How can God be manifest when we spend so much time bewailing what is wrong rather than speak what is right?
If I say do not think of the white elephant, you will find it difficult to not do so. In those words lie the power to change the mind and so the feelings and actions. Rather than speak what is wrong, don’t walk on the grass, speak what is right, walk on the sidewalk. Rather than say the church is failing us, speak the church will fall to its knees, pray and be revived, beginning with me, for you and I are the church…