They shall be like snow

In times beyond remembering,
when stories were told and not written,
the gods were believed to hold
in their collective hands the keys to the future:
the rains, fertility, harvest and so forth.
And so, in order to keep the gods happy
and pleasantly disposed towards humankind,
holy places were marked out with stones
altars were erected, idols sculpted,
festivals declared, solemn assemblies called,
animals sacrificed, dances cavorted,
entreaties wailed and offerings made.
No evidence can be found as to the effectiveness
of all this religious activity, but the practitioners
were no doubt convinced that,
had their pious processes remained undone,
life would have been more of a struggle
than it was.
The Yahweh-God of the Hebrews, however,
wryly observing that religious devotion
could be a convenient cloak
for less than pious attitudes;
radically declared that she/he
was not much interested in such adorations.
This strange God preferred
to be pleasantly surprised by a people’s concerns
for justice, goodness, generosity and compassion.
“When this happens,” this straight-talking God
declares, “White shining divine grace
shall abound in human affairs,
to overcome all the sins and the fear,
and, in the midst of the darkness,
bringing hope.”
© Ken Rookes

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