Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness."
A few years ago, my husband, Danny, and I decide it's high time we spruce up our kitchen and bathrooms. The white Formica counter tops, in place since the house was constructed in the 80s, are showing the wear and tear from years of use. And, because they are white, it is a constant chore to keep them sparkling and stain-free.
From the get-go, Danny and I are in complete agreement about the new counter tops. They need to be granite. And, they need to blend with our brown cabinets and wood floors.
Danny does his homework on the internet and chooses a company with good reviews from its customers. The promises of a wide and varied selection and one-day installation appeal to both of us.
When we arrive at the business,we are absolutely overwhelmed. Even the reviews could not prepare us for the myriad choices of colors and patterns offered here. Fortunately, as we have already determined granite to be the stone we want, we can ignore the marble and quartz. Such a relief!
As it is, we spend a good hour looking. Comparing. Back to this one. Back to that one. Decisions, decisions . . .
Then, we see it. The one we both fall in love with . . .
An exquisite piece of Italian granite. Perfect!
I can hardly wait to have see our kitchen after this gorgeous stone is installed. And, it seems like an eternity before the day of transformation arrives.
But, happily, it does!
How we love our new counter tops! Shiny. Durable. A joy to behold.
Even when they're dirty . . .
Yes, you heard me right. Because, the sprinkling of cookie crumbs, that drop of olive oil, or straying coffee grounds aren't immediately obvious. They blend in like a camouflaged hunter in a deer stand.
Unless I'm vigilant about wiping down the counters, there they stay. Yet, to the casual eye, the counters appear clean.
Clean . . . like the Pharisees' cups and bowls. When, in truth, they are marred. Stained.
Filthy . . .
In dire need of a thorough scrubbing. A good cleansing.
Jesus makes it very clear: looking good on the outside is not enough. It is what is within our hearts that counts. Hearts which, in our sins and shortcomings, need His forgiveness. His mercy.
His cleansing blood . . .
Is your heart in need of a good cleaning?
Please pray with me:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
~Book of Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist, Rite Two