Friday, July 19, 2013

facing judgment; facing ourselves and welcoming others

Good evening friends,
One of the joys of living in Rochester is the fascinating, often beautiful and always interesting weather. Tonight is a great example of that. In our passage this evening Paul continues his discussion on how we should welcome each other without judging. The truth is that God is in charge. We will all have to give an account for our lives and choices one day to God, who is the only judge. When we judge others we try to put ourselves in God's place. We also distract ourselves from looking at the behavior of the only person we have any control over, ourself. So approach everyone with love and welcome; maybe your love is what they need to come closer to God.

As we think of our Muslim neighbors observing the Ramadan this month, a verse from the Qur'an comes to mind. It can be translated "The Quaking" and it gives a poetic image of God's judgment at the end of time. The haunting image is not that we will be sent to hell, but rather that we will come face to face with what we have done, even the things that seem minor. Truly, we do not need to waste any energy judging anyone else. Here's Michael Steel's interpretation of the verse; his book, Approaching the Qur'an also includes wonderful audio recordings of this surra.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate the Caring
When the earth is shaken, quaking
When the earth bears forth her burdens
And someone says "What is with her?"
At that time she will tell her news
As her lord revealed her
At that time people will straggle forth
       to be shown what they have done
Whoever does a mote's weight good will see it
Whoever does a mote's weight wrong will see it

Blessings on your weekend,

Romans 14:7-12
7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

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