Thursday 07 April 2016

Bible Book:

“Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things … God shows no partiality.” (vv. 1, 11)

Romans 2:1-11 Thursday 7 April 2016

Psalm: Psalm 67


When I first studied theology at university Idid so as a trained scientist. I thought I knew plenty, but all ofthis subject was new to me. I struggled to make sense of it as Iprepared for ministry. I found that translating doctrine into versehelped me to work out what it meant. When I was writing hymns forthe lectionary the same process came into play. The core of thispassage seems to be, take care how you judge others for you arealso judged. But it says more. Failure to take care hasconsequences. We meet wrath head on - not God's anger, but theconsequences of our actions built into the world as it is. Wrath isnot partial and neither is God. God deals with us all equally, Jewsor Greeks - shorthand for those of any faith or none. 

1       Godshows no partiality 
          to favourrich or poor;
          God seesbeyond pretentiousness 
          and looksright to the core 
          where everyheart is open wide,
          and eachdesire known, 
          whereplatitudes are stripped away 
          and motivesclearly shown. 
2       God plumbs the depths offault or fear, 
          knowscatastrophic loss, 
          thenreaches to each present need 
          andunderstands each cross. 
          There is nohurt that is not felt, 
          no harmbeyond God's care, 
          no darknesslight cannot erase, 
          no pain Godwill not share.
3       Then from the depth ofpresent faith, 
          this is thehope we trace, 
          and thisthe grace we seek to share 
          within thistime and place; 
          to show nopartiality, 
          not favourrich nor poor, 
          but offerhere a place of love, 
          an everopen door.

© Stainer &Bell Ltd reproduced by permission of Stainer & Bell Ltd

Of course this goes a bit further than thisbrief passage from Romans. I've always felt that understandingScripture is one thing, applying it in our lives is altogetheranother. As God is, Christ acts. We who count as disciples shouldalso seek to act.

To Ponder

  • What stops us from being impartial in our judgements of oneanother?
  • What tools can we use to help us better understand Scripturepassages?
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