The Church of Zeke
Zeke was a very handsome man, well-schooled in vendition,
yet some said his lifestyle had him headed for perdition.
When others went to church, he said he preferred to go fishin’,
He couldn’t stand the piety or the erudition.
He wasn’t their sort of spiritual. When they made a tape
of the preacher’s sermon, he made a grand escape.
Even taped religion to him was not a treat.
When told to go down on his knees, he remained on his feet.
When grilled on his decision, he’d been known to just repeat
that when he kicked the bucket, he’d rather face the heat
than listen to those preacher boys with their great oration
the subject of which, without fail, was his own damnation.
He fed the poor. He did not judge men by their lifestyle or their race.
What he said to others he repeated to your face.
Helpful to his neighbors and faithful to his wife,
he did no ill to others for his entire life.
All of his religion was garnered by his doing—
his piety in action—not in listening or viewing.
And when he faced the pearly gates, they welcomed him right in.
It seems the key to heaven is not talking about sin,
but how you treat the needy and your actions toward others.
Do you accept all people as sisters and as brothers
no matter what their skin color or sexual decision?
Do you face even “different” folks without scorn or derision?
Picking up a prayer book and sitting in a pew
is not retribution for what you say and do.
What you state in piety, others are out doing—
preferring to dish out the fat that you are only chewing!!
They carved on his tombstone what his whole life he’d been saying.
“What others only talked about in sermons and in praying,
he put to practice in his life by not judging his brother
and not letting his actions be dictated by another!”
photo of fisherman by Chris Sarsgard on Unsplash. Used with permissionjdb photo
Not an indictment against religion by any means. Just a reply to those who claim piety but seem not to understand the words they read and preach by putting them into action.
“Actions speak louder than words.”
“Suffer the little children to come on to me.”
. . . . Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have. Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
James 2;1-4 KJV: My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel,and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Then Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. And the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I do not know!” he answered. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” “What have you done?” replied the LORD. “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.
Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you. shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
And, my friend Christine Goodnough, after reading this piece, added this scripture:
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8