Sour grapes – that’s our phrase. “It’s just sour grapes.”
We use it to disguise injustice.
We use it to to discredit injury.
We use it to avoid accountability.
“It’s just sour grapes,” and therefore we
bear no responsibility.
For Jeremiah and Ezekiel, however,
sour grapes were something that passed on,
with parents’ sour sufferings
experienced by children. “As I live,” said God,
“this proverb shall no more be used.”
That’s true – but the proverb’s truth remains.
The child of the refugee is hungry.
The child of the battered woman cries.
The child of the homeless has no home.
The child of the oppressed is marked.
The child of the person of color
wonders when their life will matter.
Will we blame you, O God,
that we reject the refugee, that we
refuse the see the signs of the abuse,
that we permit a child to be homeless,
that we accept oppression and
we give excuses to this violence?
Of course we will.
And you will say, to quote Ezekiel,
who wrote from exile in the shadow
of the walls of Babylon, who knew
disaster from the inside and from out:
“Repent and turn from your transgressions,
or iniquity will be your ruin.”
And so it is.
A poem/prayer based on Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32, the Revised Common Lectionary Alternate Reading for Year A, Proper 21 (26).
Icon of the prophet Ezekiel attributed to Terentiy Fomin from Vologda – photo by shakko, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8828814.