Dear people of faith,
Another week begins; I hope and pray it goes well. For your prayers – school children and their families as they commence semester holidays; university students and academics as they continue in virtual learning and assessment; and now also for some heightened anxiety around COVID19 in Australia. Remember God doesn’t need glossy words – just the intention of your heart.
Thank you to Rev’d. Sandra for the reflection today; she has also written a longer reflection for your perusal if you would like – it is attached today. Blessings all;
Collect for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray,
and give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things
which we are not worthy to ask,
save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ,
your Son our Lord. Amen APBA p.554
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 7: 1-5
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbour, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.”
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Rev’d. Sandra
We hear Jesus teaching his followers about the danger of judging others. However, I believe it is helpful for us to bear in mind that the Lord’s words here, in this connection, do not exclude all judgment.
Jesus’ statement “Do not judge” to his followers in this teaching warns against engaging in a kind of hypocritical, judgmental attitude intended to tear others down in order to build oneself up. It implies a personal, unkind, uncharitable, unauthorised, condemnatory judgement against others
However, this does not imply that Christians should not engage in critical thinking. We are called to engage in prayerful discernment as we strive to do more than others in the standards of love we adopt. Yet, how many times do we judge without realising it? Human bias tends to favour ourselves and be prejudiced regarding others. Jesus offers us a startling image where he contrasts a splinter in our neighbour’s eye with the log that is in our own eye, blinding us.
Long ago the famous Rabbi Hillel said “Do not judge a person until you yourself have come into their circumstances or situation.” We are blessed to have The Sermon on the Mount to help us in our quest to embody standards of behaviour that are required by Jesus and we rejoice that in Jesus we are always healed, restored and forgiven as his beloved people.
Blessed are you, eternal God, King of the universe:
You have called us to be your beloved people.
May your Holy Spirit guide, guard
and protect us in all of our ways,
as you lead us to your glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.