Occasionally, when I am out doing door to door visits in the community, someone will come to the door and spew these words in my face: “I’m not interested.” That always mystifies me. I wonder what they are not interested in. As I have gotten braver, I have asked them, but they are usually so stunned by my question that they just slam the door. Reflecting on these encounters I figure that the person at the door is not uninterested in love or friendship, grace or forgiveness, peace or mercy, purpose or hope, eternal life or abundant life.
No, I believe they are cold to what they see paraded as religion. I believe they are not interested in hypocrisy or judgmentalism or legalism. I believe they are not interested in keeping up apprearances or in living by some hollow and unfruitful tradition that does not appear to have any meaning. I believe they are not interested in habitually coming to a place on Sundays that seems to have no relevance to their lives today.
We must be careful to project the correct images to the world. Are we revealing Christ? Are we loving with His love? Are we living by His power? Are we embracing by His grace? Are we healing by His touch? Are we reconciling by His unity? Are we redeeming by His mercy? Are we restoring by His resurrection? Are we forgiving by His compassion?
I don’t blame the door-answerers. Neither am I interested in a false religion, a reflection of Phariseeism. Nor am I interested in robotically playing church.
So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live* according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’
Father, we pray to be true to who you are in your Son Jesus. We pray to represent Him accurately as we live, love and serve in His Name. Amen