Sitting Amidst Piety and Pot

My part-time reporting job presents scenes that inevitably give me something to think about. I gather local news. Last Saturday evening, I went to an Open Mic night at an Art Gallery. The performers were older and to give you a quick idea of what type of characters they were, we called them “Hoods” when I was in high school. No biggie, I got along with the hoods in school and it was easy for me to interview the Gallery owner and the musicians, who by the way, were quite talented.

As I sat there listening to the variety of music, I almost broke out in a laugh. I thought, “These people should move to Washington State (my hometown where marijuana was legalized)” because the smell of marijuana was thick. I soon wrapped up the interview and returned home.

The next day, I covered the Community Chorale of the Catskills, presenting a Holiday Concert at the fabulous Jay Gould Church in Roxbury, New York. Sitting there, again I wanted to laugh. Yes, I thought, I definitely fit in this place better than the Gallery of last night.

But, that is all the further I went with that thought. There was no other comparison made other than the fact that gratitude, joy, and friendliness were expressed in both places. No group of people was better or more holy than the other.

Humanity habitually classifies people as, the hoods, the jocks, the church goers but in reality we are all children of God. Oddly, we can’t count on some human lifestyle to get us to a quicker understanding of heaven on earth.

Recall the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus is hanging next to 2 criminals. One of the criminals railed Jesus, “Hey save yourself. Save us.” But, the other criminal told [the first criminal] to be quiet. The sentence was earned by them but not Jesus, who did nothing wrong.

Jesus looked at the second honest humble criminal and said, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43, ESV) The only thing Jesus said to the church people was, “forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Criminals come in many forms. There are the typical criminals found smoking pot (in New York anyway), however isn’t it a form of crime to be judging others as if they are not as good as we are? And, then demand them to do what we want, instead of God’s will?


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