Monday, March 09, 2009
Living in the Story - Lent #11, 2009
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6)
I was at a lunch quite a few years ago...about the third time back that it was cool to talk about how awful the singer Madonna was...the controversial, shameful, anti-christian ways that she was behaving. I was making jokes about her around a table and enjoying the laughter and admiration of everyone there...enjoying how right my prideful rant was. A girl there interrupted it all and asked if I ever prayed for Madonna. The table was immediately silent and my face was immediately red. She meant no malice in her question. I was speechless. Then she proceeded to say that we should all take a moment and pray for Madonna to come to a real knowledge of Jesus. Very soberly, we did.
Jesus' words here state what our posture should not be toward the world and what it should be. Why do I get these confused so easily? He has not called us to judgment and condemnation. Those are ultimately jobs only God can handle. Our posture toward the world is to be mercy, forgiveness and giving.
What unmerciful judgments am I making about others? Do I condemn with my words, attitude and thoughts? Do I judge through my prayers? Do I honestly wish for others to know Jesus' love and forgiveness? Am I holding on to perceptions? How can I show mercy? How can I pardon? How can I give?
P.S. I found an excellent post in the season of Lent over at the "Rabbit Room"...so good I thought I'd link it here. GLONK HERE to go tot the site...http://www.rabbitroom.com/?p=1487