Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:33-46
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.—Matthew 21:43-46
Is “them” us? In times Like these people of faith must look inward and assess whether they are building a better world or standing as a barrier to a world ruled by love. This accounting goes beyond the standard examination of “ but we have always done it this way” which by the way is never true. Few things have not changed even in our lifetime much less the centuries before our existence. No, this review requires us to hold our actions and beliefs next to the standards of God and determine what is in sync with God and what is not. Truth is like the Pharisees we may follow practices and tenets that at one time made sense but do not any longer, like how folks lived when they thought the earth was flat and how that changed when the discovery came that it was not. Some things will always stand the test of time; other things never did.
The only reason the Pharisees in our scripture today curbed their behavior is because they feared the crowd. Please take note, our beliefs and actions matter, which make it even more important that we take the time to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling* and not latch on knee-jerk responses perhaps provided by others who hold their interest above all others.
Prayer: God of Justice and Mercy, teach us your way and your will and give us the courage to follow both. Amen.
*See Philippians 2:12