Thursday, September 10, 2020

September 10, 2020— Thursday prior to Pentecost 15

Romans 14:1–12—Our reading through Paul’s letter to the Romans continues with Paul warning us against judging other Christians—especially those new to the faith or weak in faith. Two extremes must be avoided: measuring and judging others by comparing them to ourselves or our own standards; and failing to use the Word of God to judge.
Paul reminds us that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. What will be the standard? The same as here on earth: God’s holy Word, as revealed to us in the Bible.
Faith believes that God is not a Divine Accountant or Probation Officer. Rather, He’s an indulgent father. Who throws a party for his indigent son. He’s like an employer. Who pays employees a full day’s wage. Even though they only worked an hour. He’s like a lavish wedding host. Who provides copious amounts of only the best and finest wine. He’s your Good Shepherd. Content to leave behind ninety-nine of His herd in safety. Who will risk all. To save just one, that is lost.

This is the God who desires to bless all people I’m tempted to curse. He includes those whom I’d exclude. And embraces the very people I would shun. This good news, He says, is for all people. No one is to be excluded from the Father’s presence.

Let Your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Your help, protect and govern it always by Your goodness; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. ~ Collect for Pentecost 11  

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