Psalm 119: 97-120; Jer. 8: 18-9:6; Rom. 5: 1-11; John 8: 12-20
“A lamp for my feet is Your word, a light for my path.” Ps. 119:125
Imagine God’s word lining our path like solar night lights. The darkness of a desert night is illuminated at ground level so we can see and not stumble.
Today God’s word is John 8:15. Jesus is teaching at the temple treasury and he challenges the gathered crowd, “You pass judgment according to appearances, but I pass judgment on no one.”
This word of Jesus is more than welcoming yard lights. This word is a bright, blinding spotlight! We judge others by appearances, and we judge quickly and, sometimes, righteously. Is evaluating everyone just part of our ancient human need to be prepared for attack? Is it an ingrained trait to look at someone and check, “too short, bad hair, arrogant, mousy, too slow?”
Jesus says, “I pass judgment on no one.” Lent is a graced time to work at becoming more like Jesus and shucking off our “old self.” I’m going to try to practice “first glance, second look” during these 40 days. That’s a discipline where you catch the initial judgment, hit the pause button and ask yourself, “What burden does this person carry?” And since I don’t know the burden, much less the person, I cancel my judgment.
Will this discipline work? Will I become less judgmental? God’s word will light my way.
Rita A. Saari
Rita Saari is a past member of the Vestry at St. Margaret’s, a Lay Reader and Chalice Bearer. She sings in the Adult Choir and the Chamber Singers, and is on the Board of Desert Friends of Music.