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On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away…”

This song has always resonated with me. I am reminded of an address given by a King hundreds of years before Christ:

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

So my question to you, dear reader, do we really bring upon ourselves our poverty? Does a man who seek Zion become poor in heart? What did Christ finally advise a certain rich man who had seemed so sincere in obtaining eternal life?

18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

It isn’t enough to keep the laws. The Pharisees kept the laws and prided themselves in their zeal and knowledge of the laws. But their hearts were far from the spirit of the laws, even from He who gave them the laws. The laws don’t save us. Jesus Christ saves us. When we forsake everything to follow Him, even all our riches and worldly possessions, thus leaving us poor; when we have experienced that mighty change of heart, we truly become reborn.

Our hearts become one with Him. This is what prepares us for His kingdom. This is what prepares us for Zion, wherein no rich man exists, for there are no poor among them either. There are only the pure in heart who have all things common and where nobody esteems himself above another. Isaiah and others have prophecied of its coming. Who will abide the day? Until then:

…It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

 

 

 

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