Clean the Cup

Jesus talks to the Pharisees, the ancient version of the active church member. In Luke eleven: thirty-nine Jesus says, “you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?” It is so easy to put on a face for church. We greet each other weekly with the “I’m fines” but we are hiding what is truly inside. God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.

Lent is a essentially a sort of spring cleaning of the soul. I think every year we need to take time to clean the corners of our mind. So whether at Lent, or Yom Kippur, or just a couple weeks you set aside, we need to test our daily cleansing skills and inspect our cups. Let us therefore take time to clean the inside of the cup. No one would think of giving a friend a cup of cold water in a mug that sparkles on the outside with the inside crusted over with the residue. Then why would we present ourselves to God all clean on the outside and dirty on the inside? He sees it all.

Why does Jesus see us as cups and why is He hung up on clean insides? Because we are vessels of His grace and mercy. If each time we share with others from our hearts scaly with grime, we taint the very waters of life Christ wants for that person. What is supposed to be inside the cup is the crystal clear waters of life – for we are to be well-springs of living water for a dry and thirsty world. If our cups are dirty the water becomes dirty and people are not blessed. Jesus continues, “but give what is inside the dish to the poor and everything will be clean for you.” If we want to sparkle to others and to God, let us take time this Lent to inspect our cups. Clean the inside and then the outside will be clean when we minister to others.

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