Homecoming and Judgement
Home again, home again and the daily grind recommences. Giving up a vacation is hard for me. Part of it is my compulsiveness; my mind whirls with my must-do’s and almost all the things I really like to do are not on the must-do’s list. Must do’s include things like laundry and dishes, tasks which are mindless and I don’t really mind too much, but they get in the way of what I want to do, which is to tell you about our Alaska adventure 🙂 Before I can do that, in addition to the must do’s, I also have to transfer all my photos from my iPad to my computer, which makes blogging so much easier, so once again – something hard before something fun.
Am I grumbling? Sorry if it sounds that way. I love vacations. I love other people doing the cooking and cleaning and me just responsible for putting clothes on and figuring out what I want from the menu. I love the stimulation of seeing new things, smelling new smells, walking new paths.
As soon as we got home, we dropped our bags and zipped as fast as we could over to our son’s house to visit with him and his family. I got to hold my new little granddaughter for the entire visit – oh, so such a sweet tiny baby.
Yesterday, I hit the early service, hit the commissary, put all the groceries away and then AdventureMan and I took our little grandson to Red Robin, where . . . . in a momentary loss of my senses, I ordered a hamburger, my second of the year. It didn’t taste as good as my 4th of July hamburger, serves me right. But we had such a fun time, and here is the grand triumph – our grandson is using a napkin! He is wiping his hands and mouth with a napkin, not with his hand or arm! Wooooo HOOOOOO! He chats and makes conversations, oh, he is so much fun.
So today, on! On! Get that laundry done! Get those files transferred!
Yesterday’s sermon was on the tendency of the most Christian of Christians to want to sit in the highest seats, and Jesus’ words to choose the lower seat and allow the host to move you up, giving you honor, rather than choosing a high seat and being asked to move lower so that someone of higher distinction can have your seat. Father Neal Goldsborough mentioned that he sees the saving-of-the-seats, the tipped chairs, the stretched out handbags all the time, and we were all squirming. We’re all guilty. It was a great sermon.
From today’s Forward Day by Day readings on the daily lectionary:
James 2:1-13. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
It’s easy to pass judgment—she’s too liberal or too conservative, his clothes are too cheap or too rich, she doesn’t believe the “right” theology, his values aren’t properly aligned, etc. As easy as passing judgment is, it can do a lot of damage.
All too often, this judgment happens in churches. Comparisons and assessments pop up, and the pews that should be a safe haven for all people become trial benches. A 2007 Barna Group survey found that 87 percent of young non-Christians perceive present-day Christianity as judgmental—and half of their churchgoing counterparts answered the same. I’d be surprised by these numbers if they didn’t ring so true with perceptions among my own friends and acquaintances.
Putting mercy above judgment does not mean moving into a slippery relativism. It means embracing the radical Good News of Jesus and living as a conduit of Christ’s love to the world. Today’s passage from the book of James precedes tomorrow’s familiar proclamation, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (2:17). An act of mercy is a work of faith, a witness putting Christianity in its rightful place.