Psalm 95 exhorts us: “Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things. With his right hand and his holy arm has He won for himself the victory. . . . Shout with joy to the Lord all you lands, lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing. . . .” But then Daniel confesses to God that he and his people have rebelled against a merciful and forgiving God.
We have not only disobeyed God’s law but we have refused to hear his voice, and thus are separated from our own most innermost self. As we confess: “we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.”
John recounts Jesus’ pronouncement: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” Yet Jesus is merciful and nonjudgmental—he comes not to judge us but to save us.
How many times a day do I catch myself judging others, not only in listening to political discourse or social opinions but also in observing others’ demeanor or attitude, their personalities or quirks?
Jesus came into the world as a human being so that he could experience suffering and temptation and thus be able to help other human beings who by their very nature are tempted by evil and who suffer.
Can I not see that others—like me—have been tempted to act in a superior fashion? Can I not understand that they—like me—suffer the inevitable pain of loss, disappointment, and physical pain as well as spiritual hunger and loneliness?
Prayer for the Day:
May I remember the joy of the Psalms to delight in the world rather than judge it, to search for the light in others and reflect my own light in the world, rather than adding my petty judgments of others.
Help me, God, in my daily living to wake with joy, treat my fellow humans as divine beings, and pray for those who suffer or who live in darkness or pain. In this way, God, may I learn to find your reality within my daily life during this season of Lent and throughout my life.
— Kay Slaughter