In the Matthew passage, Jesus came down hard on the Pharisees, calling them “frauds.” Our society today is filled with Christian frauds. We no longer kill or torture those who disagree with us in religious or cultural ways by gathering a crowd and casting stones. We wage wars that kill innocent people and talented young men and women troops.
But on the home front, we kill with words or by laughing at or ignoring someone who is different. People suffer in silence for our rude or insensitive behavior. It is painful to read headlines in newspapers or watch a parent on a talk show tell about why their teen put a gun to his or her head when they could no longer tolerate being bullied by other kids, or in some cases, adults.
If I’ve said or done something, which may have caused someone to leave a job, quit a committee, give up public service of any kind, then Jesus would consider me to be a Christian fraud. But guess what, instead of giving up on me, he’ll open his wide arms of grace and forgive me.
Lord of all amazing things, do we deserve you? Help ease us into grace and live in your ways. Amen.