Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Has anyone in born in the 2nd half of the 20th century ever whitewashed anything?

I honestly wouldn't know what it was if it wasn't for Mark Twain.

I like to drink coke.  By coke, I'm not necessarily meaning Coca Cola, but carbonated beverages in general.  I drink them too much.  I've just about decided to switch to diet cokes, or water, for my health.  But I'll probably just keep pumping good old fashioned fructose corn syrup into my body, slowly killing my pancreas and kidneys.

So today, I was sitting at my desk enjoying a nice cold Coca Cola.  It's Christmas time so the can has Santa on it.  Aside from the Polar Bears or cans commemorating an Auburn national championship, it is my favorite Coke can... it makes me feel festive.

Then I glanced at the clock, it was time for me to go and pick up my children at school.  In fact, it was about 5 minutes past when I'm supposed to leave.  I jumped up, grabbed my keys and wallet and ran out the door.

But my mind was still working on whatever essential project that I was working on while back in my office.  I cranked my Yukon, and tore off out of the parking lot toward the school.  As I turned onto Bethlehem Rd I reached down into the console cup holder and grabbed the red can that was sitting there.  Placing it to my lips and taking a giant swig I came to realize that this was not the coke I had been drinking in my office.  But a coke that I had not finished and left in my car... last week.

It was like a mixture of dirty water mixed with awfulness.  It wasn't entirely warm, since it had been hovering just above freezing all day outside, but it wasn't entirely cold either.

I nearly wrecked the car, set the can back down and uttered my discontent aloud.

I looked down at the can.  It looked like the one sitting on my desk.  The advertisement was the same.  There stood Santa staring back at me.  But the promise of soda refreshment was never realized.  Inside the can was a flat, rotten version of the promise.  It was flat out gross.

In Matthew 23:27-28 Jesus says to the Pharisees, "Woe to you, scribes, pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness.  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

Just for your information, whitewash is a solution of lime and water used for painting walls white.  Essentially, Jesus is saying that you can put lipstick on a pig, but behind the facade its still a pig.

I wonder how many of us are just like that.  We dress up in our nicest clothes and apply the most appropriate social filters to our tongues when we come to church or come around our church friends.  We learn to speak the lingo, we learn when to stand and sit, how to get our kids to Kids Worship, and even put some money in the plate every now and then.

But then we walk away from the church context and the filter comes off.  And the true climate of our heart is exposed.

We are often no better than the pharisees.  We look right.  We say the right things.  But inside we are unchanged.  We are hypocrites.  We are filled with lawlessness.

We look ok.  But what is inside is just flat out gross

God, may our lives reflect your grace.  Change the climate in our hearts as you continue to transform us into the pattern of your Son, Jesus.

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