Thursday, January 26, 2017


On Judgment  The New Testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future, God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. The judge will be Christ  In other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully.

Christ's love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering which Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal  The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.  (Buechner, Wishful Thinking)

One day recently, in a meeting, someone was talking about the life to come, and hinting about the joy and rest in heaven. Another person in the room said, "Some people need to be worried about that." (I'm paraphrasing; I don't remember the exact quote). The second person was insinuating that there were those who would not be in heaven, and, by God, they deserved what they got. There seemed to be a gloating sound in the comment. This person was looking forward to the time when the unworthy got what was coming to them. God hadn't judged, but this person had.

And then there are those, I think, who worry about God's judgment. Who never feel worthy enough, and dread the wrath of God in the days to come (and in the present day). Who is worthy? No one; none us can measure up, and so the reaction, sometimes, is to fear God.

And then, I read the above quotes from Buechner's book. "the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully." Do we ever think of it that way? Do we ever consider that the one who will judge us, who judges us, is also the one who loves us most fully.  We are judged all the time by the people around us, and we judge others - but no one loves as Christ loves. Christ's judgment won't be an answer to the revenge the person in the meeting I was attending was looking for, and it won't be the judgment we fear. It will be the judgment of the one who loves us most fully.

We can trust the one who loves us most fully. And maybe we need to start imitating Christ in the way we judge others.

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