Monday, October 12, 2015

Did Not the Maker of the Outside Also Make the Inside

By Melanie Rigney

Brothers and sisters: I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, then Greek. For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.” (Romans 1:16-17)

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  (Psalm 19:2a)

The Pharisee was amazed to see that (Jesus) did not observe the prescribed
James Tissot [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?”
(Luke 11:38-40)

Lord, I beg you to cleanse my soul and mind in the same way I cleanse my body.

My sister and I have a cleaning crew come in once a quarter. It’s not that our condo is often particularly messy; we’re both fairly tidy people. Rather, it’s because she’s often traveling and most nights and weekends I can be found at the computer, writing or editing something. We don’t get to the serious, tile-scrubbing, corner-vacuuming cleaning ourselves as often as we’d like. The place doesn’t look that much different on the surface after the crew is gone. But we notice, and it makes us happy.

The Pharisees’ attitude is somewhat analogous. They were so concerned with the outward trappings of religious practices, the ritualistic cleansing, that they were missing the importance of what the Lord was doing (or, not doing) in someone’s heart and soul. Jesus urged them to look beyond the surface at the “plunder and evil” that lurks within, the judgmental thoughts and attitudes that can take up residence within those who want everyone to live exactly the way they know is best.

Jesus wasn’t calling on the Pharisees or us to ignore ritual altogether. Rather, he calls on us not to be self-satisfied with the condition of our souls… and to let Him serve as the best cleaning crew ever. We might not look that much different on the surface as He does His work. But we will notice, and it will make us happy in this life and the next.


Read Sister Margaret Halaska’s marvelous poem, “Covenant.” Ask God to help you clean up some more space for His Son.

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