We, Pharisee

I blow a horn so folks will know

That I’ve come to start my show.

I do good works for all to see

Thank you, God, for making me.

As you can tell, I’m great and good;

I do all the things I think I should.

I fast oft and tithe much too;

It’s clear that I do more than you

Or him or her, so thank you Lord,

That I’m not like the common hoard:

Sinners, bums, and pagan scum

Of your truth they’re clearly dumb.

But my eyes see you’ve blessed me so,

There’s just not much that I don’t know.

There are some folks alive today

Who claim things aren’t the way I say.

"You hypocrite!" I’ve heard some shout, but

I’m in control; I’ll put them out!

Disfellowshipped from friends and church,

For food and fellowship they’ll search….

But, Oh, not I! My seat’s secure

And it’s up front, you may be sure.

My descent I claim through Abraham.

In his son’s stead he slayed a ram

That I might live and claim my boast:

It’s clear, Oh Lord, you love me most.

Today, dear Lord, I come to you

To receive the honor that I’m due.

For I’ve condemned unrighteousness;

These are my works, so now please bless.

Oh Lord, My Lord, do you not hear?

Can you not see that I’ve drawn near?

What do you mean my name’s not found

In your book and that I’m bound

And tied up in iniquity?

My God, I say that just can’t be!

Years now I have used your name,

And all my friends have done the same!

For fruits you’ve asked, that we be known,

Therefore I think it can be shown

Our numbers and our coffers swelled

With blessings such as these we’ve dwelled.

"Thou Fool!" You say, "to have relied

On fruits of riches multiplied."

Woe, woe, woe is me!

The works we’ve done he just won’t see.

Lazarus, Lazarus, speak for us!

Hurry, please! The blood! The puss!

This flame’s so great; can’t bear the pain.

My days have waxed; God curse this wane!

And so beloved, we gather here

That all may learn and all may fear.

When we appear before the Lord,

"Self-deceived" none can afford.

Of his good works he did insist;

Sadly, though, the point he missed.

When his day came before the throne

What tragedy! he was not known.

He gnashed his teeth, he did wail;

All that remains is this sad tale.

Most folks think him just a Jew,

But he was an Israelite, like You!

With quaking and with shaking knees

Let us repent as "Pharisees"

Who had the Truth, and knew we did!

Yet from our hearts was mercy hid.

We thought we knew what was required,

But in jots and tittles we were mired.

Let’s now on matters weighty dwell;

Let mercies flow that they might tell

Our God and Master up above

The law we seek to keep is Love:

Love of neighbor, not of strife,

Which if kept will lead to Life.

—David Paul Bankson (SN subscriber)