Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday: And Who Is It I Have Judged?

Today's readings should lead readers to consider how judging others might be cross in their lives. Paul reminds us that each of us will come before God to account for the actions in our lives. Likewise Paul reminds us that God did not appoint anyone of us to be the judge of others. It is his prerogative -- thanks be to God!

At the same time the gospel recalls the comforting story of the good shepherd who trusts the flock will stay together while he goes in search of just one of the sheep that has separated from the flock. Luke's account of Jesus' words to the challenge of the Pharisees at the dinner with Jesus reminds me of Paul's reminder: how easily people judge others.

In our society today it is so easy --and so frequent-- to condemn those who just do not meet my personal standards. Throwing the darts is a genuine sport when the bulls eye is on another person's back, isn't it? How do I treat the teenager who is pregnant and so frightened? Who will support her in the journey to birth rather than abortion? How do I treat the young adult who has come to realize the he is gay? Who will stand by him in the moments when family and friends ridicule or attack his reality? And what about that bag lady on the corner every morning? Who reaches out to her? Do you ever think this: "There, but for the grace of God ... go I."

What must the artist have had in mind as he depicted Jesus as you see him in the picture above? Do you think this might be how Jesus would take some of his time to reflect upon those whose openness to lost individuals is minimal.

This thought also crossed my mind as I reflected: How can the fallen return to the Lord when criticism and condemnation rain down from those who proclaim to be true Christians? Reminds me of a remark a friend once made years ago: "See the Christians and how the club one another!"

Photo: Simon Dewey