Up front: For sure I do not write with authority…and perhaps not even a scribe. Hopefully, though, this isn’t blathering prattle.
The issue is judgment. Ours upon others. Others upon us. Life upon us. Ours upon life. And, what about God and judgment?
All my life, even from an evangelism rally in the 8th grade I was aware of genuine and urgent thinking that “God punishes if you don’t live faithfully.”
I’ve done it. When something untoward happens to me my first “inside question,” is what did I do wrong? How did I mess up? If I had gone right instead of left at that crossroads, would this bad thing not happened?
That’s human. But. When we make that self-prescriptive, we are in trouble. Because then, quite honestly, our self-wondering becomes a habit and whatever we do we don’t ask, “Is this the best way to be of help?” Instead we ask, “If I do this, will I be okay?”
I cannot change that with others. I can, though, with myself, and honestly, the effort has not waned over the decades in what I do or say or don’t do or don’t say.
The fulcrum of that is not I. No. The fulcrum is my understanding of God. I don’t hold allegiance to the biblical narrative when it reads how the sin of humankind angers God so that colossal disaster happens. To be direct, I don’t consider Katrina God’s judgment against anyone, let alone homosexuals. As was pronounced with wrathful words from clergy.
It’s all got to do with God, my understanding, and my focus, which I am still constructing, to have my life “discover and do what I can to walk the talk in reducing the needs of others.”
Directly, this paragraph this morning brings me comfort and abiding belief. From Tom Ehrich on the place of God and my living:
“God, you see, never stops wanting to draw us closer. There is nothing we can do that will turn God’s love to hatred. People want to find that boundary, because staffing it can lead to power. But God’s mercy has no limits. The only limits lie within us. It is we who punish ourselves. God is trying to show us a better way.”
What do you think? What guides and strengthens your life? Tell me about your God…