PASSIONATE JESUS AND AMOS
WOE TO YOU, Lawmakers, judges, administrators of our land, hypocrites! For you lock your people out of their dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For you do not go in yourselves and when others are going in, you stop them. Woe to you, lawmakers, judges, administrators, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, pocket their money and make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves...
I was angry when I wrote this-quite angry. I am not usually an angry man, but at those times I look for ways to convert my anger into creativity. Two factors contributed to this writing. What's happening right now in Washington weighs on my soul, as I know it does for the millions who will be affected by this inane gridlock. The sequestration is affecting our family personally. My Border Patrol son-in-law was informed that he and every other Agent will take a 35% pay cut-that is not a mistake-35% is accurate unless something changes. So this man who faces the Mexican Cartels each day will lose that much income, putting his family and home in jeopardy. The second contributing factor is that I had just finished reading the chapter on Jesus' anger in Peter Wallace's new book, The Passionate Jesus. So, I imagined how Jesus and Amos might channel their anger.
Woe to you, lawmakers, judges, administrators, hypocrites! For you who live in comfort off the government condemn and deride your deeply dedicated fellow government workers in the field. You proclaim that we must guard our borders but you decrease your Border Patrol Agents' salaries by 35% while they face the loss of their homes and face the guns of the Mexican cartels. Woe to you, lawmakers, judges, administrators, hypocrites! You joust over every jot and tittle of the law but neglect the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting individuals and families who form the backbone of our nation. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow an elephant! You point one finger of blame in front of you while holding your hand behind you to receive money from the rich and the corporate who buy your vote. Woe to you, lawmakers and judges, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed, snobbery, self-righteousness and self-indulgence. You blind lawmakers and judges and administrators of our land. First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean. Woe to you, lawmakers, judges and administrators, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness... You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:13-32, Jesus' anger paraphrased and made current)
ALAS FOR THOSE who walk the marble halls of Congress, the White House where
Honest Abe slept, and the quiet halls of Supreme Judges,
who lounge and sleep in safety,
and eat lambs from the flock,
and calves from the stall,
and sing and listen to Kennedy Center musicians,
who drink wine from crystal,
and anoint themselves with the finest oils from elegant Spas,
but are not truly grieved over their brothers and sisters,
those sleeping on city grates,
not truly grieved over 40,000,000 who live below the poverty lines
or 17,000,000 million children of our nation who go hungry daily.
Therefore you shall now be the
first to go into exile,
and the revelry of the loungers
shall pass away.
(Amos 6: 4-7, Amos' anger paraphrased and made current.)
Paraphrase of Scripture by Dr. Benjamin Pratt