Archive for the ‘March 14’ Category

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B   23 comments

Above:  Stained-Glass Window:  Moses and the Snake, St. Mark’s Church, Gillingham, Kent, England

Image in the Public Domain

Sins and Suffering

MARCH 14, 2021

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Numbers 21:4-9 (New Revised Standard Version):

From Mount Hor the Israelites set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses,

Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.

Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said,

We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.

So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses,

Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.

So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

and his mercy endures for ever.

2  Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim

that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.

3  He gathered them out of the lands;

from the east and from the west,

from the north and from the south.

17  Some were fools and took to rebellious ways;

they were afflicted because of their sins.

18  They abhorred all manner of food

and drew near to death’s door.

19  Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

20  He sent forth his word and healed them

and saved them from the grave.

21  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy

and the wonders he does for his children.

22  Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving

and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (New Revised Standard Version):

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God– not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

John 3:14-21 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said to Nicodemus,

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.

The Collect:

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-a/

Numbers 21:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirtieth-day-of-lent/

John 3:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/second-sunday-in-lent-year-a/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/tenth-day-of-easter/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/eleventh-day-of-easter/

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Sometimes there is a link between one’s sin and one’s suffering. Actions do have consequences, after all.  But, as we read in Job and the Gospels, one’s sufferings, diseases, and disabilities do not always result from one’s sins.  Reason and experience confirm this conclusion.

Some suffering results from the sins of others.  Suppose, for example, that somebody steals my car, causing me inconvenience at least and perhaps suffering.  I was just minding my business, but the other person’s greed has hurt me.  Likewise, one can come down with lung cancer because of the cigarette smoke of others.  Living well is no guarantee against all bad ends.

Then there are the cases where suffering has no apparent cause.  Why are some people born blind, for example?  Jesus faced this question.  Nobody needed to have sinned for the blindness to have resulted.  So let us refrain from assuming that a person’s suffering has resulted from something he or she has done, for we run the risk of judging others unjustly.  Our knowledge is limited, but God’s is not.  And God is also prone to forgiving generously.

KRT

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Prayers of the People for Lent–First Order   1 comment

I found the image above on several websites, including:

http://www.stdavidschurch.org/youth/index.php?arr1=0,97,108&itemid=108

The form of the Prayers of the People is free to anyone to wishes to use and adapt it.  I wrote it; I give it away.

KRT

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As people of God striving to observe a holy Lent, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

That we will fast from all resentment, hostility, apathy, and hatred toward God, each other, and ourselves, and therefore live in shalom, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

That all lay people and members of the clergy will respond affirmatively to divine guidance in the paths of righteousness, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

That all persons in positions of authority and influence will respond affirmatively to divine guidance, and therefore foster civic righteousness, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

That all persons will respond affirmatively to divine guidance to become better stewards of the Earth, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

That we will delight with others in the blessings God has bestowed on them, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We give thanks for…

  • A, B, C, D, and E, who celebrate their birthdays this week;
  • And S and T, and U and V, who celebrate their wedding anniversaries this week.

I invite your thanksgivings, silent or aloud.

Brief Silence

That we will identify with others in their needs, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We intercede for…

  • First-names intercession list here;
  • Military personnel list here;
  • Other nations here;
  • And all people struggling with vocational and career issues.

I invite your intercessions, silent or aloud.

Brief Silence

That we will support all who grieve, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

That all who have died (especially Z) will rest in and know the joys of divine mercy, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

The officiant concludes with a collect.

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/prayers-of-the-people-for-lent/

A Prayer for Grace to Forgive   3 comments

The High Altar of Old Coventry Cathedral, England

Image Source = sannse

Gracious God, why is forgiving so difficult?

I know what I need to do, and I want to do it–

except when I do not want to do it.

Forgive me for this sin, I ask you,

and bestow grace upon me sufficient to enable me

to forgive others and myself,

so to live in Godly liberation with you and my fellow human beings.

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF GEORGE HERBERT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

Posted March 13, 2011 by neatnik2009 in April 1, April 10, April 11, April 12, April 13, April 14, April 15, April 16, April 17, April 18, April 19, April 2, April 20, April 21, April 22, April 23, April 24, April 25, April 26, April 27, April 28, April 29, April 3, April 30, April 4, April 5, April 6, April 7, April 8, April 9, Ascension, Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday, February 10, February 11, February 12, February 13, February 14, February 15, February 16, February 17, February 18, February 19, February 20, February 21, February 22, February 23, February 24, February 25, February 26, February 27, February 28, February 29, February 4, February 5, February 6, February 7, February 8, February 9, Friday in Easter Week, Good Friday, Holy Monday, Holy Saturday-Easter Vigil, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, June 1, June 10, June 11, June 12, June 13, June 2, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 9, March 1, March 10, March 11, March 12, March 13, March 14, March 15, March 16, March 17, March 18, March 19, March 2, March 20, March 21, March 22, March 23, March 24, March 25: Annunciation, March 26, March 27, March 28, March 29, March 3, March 30, March 31, March 4, March 5, March 6, March 7, March 8, March 9, Maundy Thursday, May 1, May 10, May 11, May 12, May 13, May 14, May 15, May 16, May 17, May 18, May 19, May 2, May 20, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 25, May 26, May 27, May 28, May 29, May 3, May 30, May 31: Visitation, May 4, May 5, May 6, May 7, May 8, May 9, Monday in Easter Week, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Saturday in Easter Week, Thursday in Easter Week, Tuesday in Easter Week, Wednesday in Easter Week

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A Prayer to Relinquish the Illusion of Control   Leave a comment

Allegory of Faith, by Luis Salvador Carmona

Image Source = Luis Garcia

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Sovereign God,

I confess that I have sought control in matters small, medium, and large.

This has been a recurring, unfortunate, and sinful pattern.

Why have I not learned better that human control is purely illusory?

Why am I stubborn in this sin?

Deliver me–deliver all of us–I pray you–from this sin,

so that trust in you may replace the idolatrous quest for control,

that love for you and all your children may abound,

and that Shalom may result.

In the name of God, the Holy and Undivided Trinity.  Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 10, 2010 (THE FEAST OF GEOFFREY STUDDERT KENNEDY)

Posted October 28, 2010 by neatnik2009 in April 1, April 10, April 11, April 12, April 13, April 14, April 15, April 16, April 17, April 18, April 19, April 2, April 20, April 21, April 22, April 23, April 24, April 25, April 26, April 27, April 28, April 29, April 3, April 30, April 4, April 5, April 6, April 7, April 8, April 9, Ascension, Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday, February 10, February 11, February 12, February 13, February 14, February 15, February 16, February 17, February 18, February 19, February 20, February 21, February 22, February 23, February 24, February 25, February 26, February 27, February 28, February 29, February 4, February 5, February 6, February 7, February 8, February 9, Friday in Easter Week, Good Friday, Holy Monday, Holy Saturday-Easter Vigil, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, June 1, June 10, June 11, June 12, June 13, June 2, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 9, March 1, March 10, March 11, March 12, March 13, March 14, March 15, March 16, March 17, March 18, March 19, March 2, March 20, March 21, March 22, March 23, March 24, March 25: Annunciation, March 26, March 27, March 28, March 29, March 3, March 30, March 31, March 4, March 5, March 6, March 7, March 8, March 9, Maundy Thursday, May 1, May 10, May 11, May 12, May 13, May 14, May 15, May 16, May 17, May 18, May 19, May 2, May 20, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 25, May 26, May 27, May 28, May 29, May 3, May 30, May 31: Visitation, May 4, May 5, May 6, May 7, May 8, May 9, Monday in Easter Week, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Saturday in Easter Week, Thursday in Easter Week, Tuesday in Easter Week, Wednesday in Easter Week

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Rebirth: A Prayer   Leave a comment

Chrysalis 

Image Source = Pollinator

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Everything I once considered certain

Is uncertain;

What I once thought I knew

Was wrong.

Earthquakes have shaken my

My presumptions and illusions.

I am dying,

Only to be reborn—

But as what and as whom and when?

Death hurts;

Rebirth is painful, too.

Yet I trust in God—

Most of the time.

Yet I am at peace—

Some of the time.

Dear God, I implore you,

Please forgive me

For my inconstancy,

Comfort me in my pain and grief,

And guide me along your

Path to serenity.

Amen.

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Rien je songais être certain

Est certain;

Tout j’imagais que je savais

Furent incorrect.

Des tremblements de terre ébranlerent

Mes présumptions et mes illusions.

Je meurs,

Seulement éprouver une renaissance—

Mais a quoi et a qui et quand?

La mort fait du mal;

La renaissance fait souffrir aussi.

Mais je met confiance en Dieu—

Ordinairement.

Mais je suis en paix—

Quelquefois.

Mon Dieu, je vous implore,

S’il vous plait pardonnez-moi

Pour mon caractère changeant,

Consolez-moi en ma peine et ma douleur,

Et guidez-moi en votre

Chemin à la sérénité.

Amen.

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

May 2007

Posted October 28, 2010 by neatnik2009 in April 1, April 10, April 11, April 12, April 13, April 14, April 15, April 16, April 17, April 18, April 19, April 2, April 20, April 21, April 22, April 23, April 24, April 25, April 26, April 27, April 28, April 29, April 3, April 30, April 4, April 5, April 6, April 7, April 8, April 9, Ascension, Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday, February 10, February 11, February 12, February 13, February 14, February 15, February 16, February 17, February 18, February 19, February 20, February 21, February 22, February 23, February 24, February 25, February 26, February 27, February 28, February 29, February 4, February 5, February 6, February 7, February 8, February 9, Friday in Easter Week, Good Friday, Holy Monday, Holy Saturday-Easter Vigil, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, June 1, June 10, June 11, June 12, June 13, June 2, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 9, March 1, March 10, March 11, March 12, March 13, March 14, March 15, March 16, March 17, March 18, March 19, March 2, March 20, March 21, March 22, March 23, March 24, March 25: Annunciation, March 26, March 27, March 28, March 29, March 3, March 30, March 31, March 4, March 5, March 6, March 7, March 8, March 9, Maundy Thursday, May 1, May 10, May 11, May 12, May 13, May 14, May 15, May 16, May 17, May 18, May 19, May 2, May 20, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 25, May 26, May 27, May 28, May 29, May 3, May 30, May 31: Visitation, May 4, May 5, May 6, May 7, May 8, May 9, Monday in Easter Week, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Saturday in Easter Week, Thursday in Easter Week, Tuesday in Easter Week, Wednesday in Easter Week

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A Prayer for Compassion   Leave a comment

Jesus the Good Shepherd

Image Source = Toby Hudson

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Compassion is inherently active, and therefore evident or absent in deeds.

KRT

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Passionate God of the Incarnation,

you have reminded us repeatedly

of how much you care for and about us,

and of what you expect of us.

We have heard the call to love one another as we love ourselves

and we have read the scriptural injunctions against economic injustice.

So why have not more of us heeded these calls more often?

Why do we support systems of economic injustice

and perpetuate racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry?

Forgive us, dear Lord.

And may we, by grace,

act compassionately and effectively to create

a beloved community of human justice founded on divine compassion,

so that we may revel in each other compassionately in this life

and glorify and enjoy you forever.

AMEN.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEASTS OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER (EPISCOPAL DEACONESS), CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK AND HAAKON VII OF NORWAY (KINGS), PAULINE SPERRY (MATHEMATICIAN AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST), AND ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN (ECUMENIST)

Posted October 28, 2010 by neatnik2009 in April 1, April 10, April 11, April 12, April 13, April 14, April 15, April 16, April 17, April 18, April 19, April 2, April 20, April 21, April 22, April 23, April 24, April 25, April 26, April 27, April 28, April 29, April 3, April 30, April 4, April 5, April 6, April 7, April 8, April 9, Ascension, Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday, February 10, February 11, February 12, February 13, February 14, February 15, February 16, February 17, February 18, February 19, February 20, February 21, February 22, February 23, February 24, February 25, February 26, February 27, February 28, February 29, February 4, February 5, February 6, February 7, February 8, February 9, Friday in Easter Week, Good Friday, Holy Monday, Holy Saturday-Easter Vigil, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, June 1, June 10, June 11, June 12, June 13, June 2, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 9, March 1, March 10, March 11, March 12, March 13, March 14, March 15, March 16, March 17, March 18, March 19, March 2, March 20, March 21, March 22, March 23, March 24, March 25: Annunciation, March 26, March 27, March 28, March 29, March 3, March 30, March 31, March 4, March 5, March 6, March 7, March 8, March 9, Maundy Thursday, May 1, May 10, May 11, May 12, May 13, May 14, May 15, May 16, May 17, May 18, May 19, May 2, May 20, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 25, May 26, May 27, May 28, May 29, May 3, May 30, May 31: Visitation, May 4, May 5, May 6, May 7, May 8, May 9, Monday in Easter Week, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Saturday in Easter Week, Thursday in Easter Week, Tuesday in Easter Week, Wednesday in Easter Week

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Eleventh Day of Lent   7 comments

Dana Carvey as “the Church Lady,” from Saturday Night Live in the 1980s:

Image Source = http://thatsagoodblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/church-lady-tingles-for-justin-bieber.html

“Isn’t that special?”

(Have I dated myself with this cultural reference?)

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March 14, 2022

Collect and lections from the Episcopal Lesser Feasts and Fasts Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints

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Follow the assigned readings with me this Lent….

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Daniel 9:1-10 (Revised English Bible):

In the first year of the reign of Darius son of Ahasuerus (a Mede by birth, who was appointed ruler over the kingdom of the Chaldeans) I, Daniel, was reading the scriptures and reflecting on the seventy years which, according to the word of the LORD to the prophet Jeremiah, were to pass while Jerusalem lay in ruins.  Then I turned to the Lord God in earnest prayer and supplication with fasting and with sackcloth and ashes.  I prayed and made this confession to the LORD my God:

Lord, great and terrible God, keeping covenant and faith with those who love you and observe your commandments, we have sinned, doing what was wrong and wicked; we have rebelled and rejected your commandments and your decrees.   We have turned a deaf ear to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings and princes, to our forefathers, and to all the people of the land.  Lord, the right is on your side; the shame, now as ever, belongs to us, the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, and to all the Israelites near and far in every land to which you have banished them for their disloyal behaviour towards you.  LORD, the shame falls on us, on our kings, our princes, and our forefathers.  We have sinned against you.  Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, because we have rebelled against him.  We have not obeyed the LORD our God, in that we have not conformed to the laws which he laid down for our guidance through his servants the prophets….

Psalm 79 (Revised English Bible):

The heathen have invaded your domain, God;

they have defiled your holy temple and laid Jerusalem in ruins.

The dead bodies of your servants they have thrown out as food for the birds;

everyone loyal to you they have made carrion for wild beasts.

All round Jerusalem their blood is spilt like water,

and there is no one to give them burial.

We suffer the taunts of our neighbours, the gibes and mockery of those about us.

How long, LORD, will you be roused to such fury?

How long will you let your indignation blaze like a fire?

Pour out your wrath on nations that do not acknowledge you,

on kingdoms that do not call on you by name,

for they have devoured Jacob and left his homeland a waste.

Do not remember against us the guilt of past generations;

rather let your compassion come swiftly to meet us,

for we have been brought so low.

Help us, God our saviour, for the honour of your name;

for your name’s sake rescue us and wipe out our sins.

Why should the nations ask,

Where is their God?

Before our very eyes may those nations know your vengeance for the slaughter of your servants.

Let the groaning of the captives reach your presence

and in your great might save those under the sentence of death.

Turn back sevenfold on their heads, Lord,

the contempt our neighbours pour on you.

Then we, your people, the flock which you shepherd,

will give you thanks for ever and repeat your praise to all generations.

Luke 6:27-38 (Revised English Bible):

Contextual note: This passage takes place during the Sermon on the Plain and immediately after the Beatitudes and Woes.–KRT

[Jesus said,]

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who treat you spitefully.  If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; if anyone takes what is yours do not demand it back.

Treat others as you would kike them to treat you.  If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners love those who love them?  Again, if you do good only to those who are good to you, what credit is there in that?  Even sinners do as much.  And if you lend only where you expect to be repaid, what credit is there in that?  Even sinners lend to each other to be repaid in full.  But you must love your enemies and do good, and lend without expecting any return; and you will have a rich reward; you will be sons of the Most High, because he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.  Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned; give, and gifts will be given you.  Good measure, pressed and shaken down and running over, will be poured into your lap; for whatever measure you deal out to others will be dealt to you in turn.

The Collect:

Let your Spirit, O Lord, come into the midst of us to wash us with the pure water of repentance, and prepare us to be always a living sacrifice to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever and ever.  Amen.

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I extended the Daniel reading slightly and typed the entire psalm, not just the first nine verses specified in the Lesser Feasts and Fasts Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints to establish context.  Sometimes I extend the lections, but never do I omit verses.

One point I get out of the way is to refer you to the post for the Tenth Day of Lent, for my comments there apply to these readings, also.

Sometimes Biblical passages make us uncomfortable.  Today’s psalm numbers among those for me.  The imagery is unpleasant and the cry for vengeance contradicts Jesus from the Sermon on the Plain.  Yet let us not turn away from unpleasant parts of the Scriptures.  The Book of Psalms contains a variety of human emotions, from adoration to vengeance.  At difficult times I have identified with the cries for vindication and vengeance.  And I am not alone in this.

In the excerpt from the Lukan Gospel we read that we should not judge others.  Here is Jesus, again, raising the standard.  I know that I judge others at least once on a good day and many times on a bad day.  Seldom do I give this voice, but I know my thoughts.  And the Gospels remind me that I should not have done what I did.  The truth is that appearances can be deceptive and that we do not know everything.  Yet God knows all, and therefore judgment about others resides there properly.

So, why do more of us not try more assiduously to refrain from such judgmental attitudes?  (I begin with myself.)  We, like the Apostles of Jesus, do not understand as well as well as we think we do.  The first step in correcting this spiritual disorder is recognizing its existence.  The rest is primarily in the hands of God, although our free will is an important factor, too.

Too often the experiences many vulnerable people have of church members is that of judging, as in the attitude of Dana Carvey’s great character, the Church Lady.  An oft-repeated thought follows: the church should be hospital for sinners.  Yet too often it resembles an assembly of the self-righteous.  And our righteousness is worthless and illusory.  And yet we judge.

Lord, have mercy on us.

KRT

Written on February 22, 2010

Edited on October 28, 2010

Posted October 28, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2022, Episcopal Church Lectionary, March 14

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