Living G*D’s are always dangerous. They leave chaos in their wake. Rules are made and remade. Rituals come and go. What will satisfy a Living G*D won’t satisfy a reformed Living G*D that recognizes the previous way of doing business was no longer satisfactory for either G*D or creation or creature.
You thought the threat of fire next time was tough to bear up under, that’s nothing compared to the blaze of requirements of this reformed Living G*D. In retrospect it seems that it was easier to deal with animal sacrifice for behavioral issues than it is to deal with doctrinal sacrifice for theological issues.
To circle back to the gospel lesson, can you hear Jesus talking to both the Living G*D of his tradition and the reformed Living G*D he was experiencing - and using the term hypocrite? You can’t really talk about hypocrisy of priests without also talking about the hypocrisy of the power they represent or mediate.
Give thanks or else, is not a comforting word. Blessing on you for being able to give thanks by simply seeing life beyond wrath and calling out those who limit us to a fear-based approach to life. Blessings on you for being able to give thanks even while seeing the end of life as subservience and randomness and colluding with it. Blessings on you for being able to give thanks while convinced there is no hope and nothing to trust. Simply blessings on you for your thanksgiving, regardless of its etiology or degree.