Day 29: Condemnation

Consider for a moment

what it must have been like,

One standing alone  

among a winless fight.

Nobody to believe

or witness Thy name;

Doubt blankets judgment

on those who cast blame.

Every sin I’ve committed

clings to Your robe;

My footsteps must follow

the path You now go.

Now when I feel alone,

mistreated, or afraid,

A memory on my lips

speaks the words I now pray.

To all those who’ve cast

upon me their sins,

I pray You will grant me

the strength to forgive them.

Oh, and when I cast forward

my own blameing words,

Nightly I’ll pray

lament will be stirred

Before you begin your day:

To Condemn: 

To express an unfavorable or adverse judgment.

To indicate strong disapproval.

To pronounce to be guilty.

To sentence punishment.

To give grounds or reason for convicting.

To judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service.

To force into a specific state or activity; to declare incurable.

www.dictionary.com)

 

Have you found any of your actions falling between the lines of these definitions? Where? Have you ever expressed unfavorable judgment without understanding? Indicated disapproval without consideration? Sentenced without forgiveness? Declared without sympathy?

 

Let's begin again by focusing on the picture. Where do you place yourself? From the left, have you been an active participant in placing blame upon another? Moving forward, claimed to be only the bystander in an unjust circumstance? Stepping forward once more, looked to others rather than God in your deemed sentence? Look down upon the ground, have you stood behind conviction in your criticism? Gaze upward, have you convinced others you've acted justly?

 

I can answer yes to all these questions. I have blamed others without understanding the facts. I have stood by and ignored injustice. I have looked to others rather than God to determine another's judgment. I have criticized others on the grounds of what I deem correct. And, I have convinced others of my correctness is doing so. How many times have we looked for one reason - one confidant - to condemn someone? All the while, you've had them convicted in your mind already?

 

And, with all this, our Blessed Lord brings great news. To become a Disciple of Christ, you must first recognize what it means to lose your way. Jesus reiterates the words "follow me" over twenty times in the bible. Does this not imply we need reminding? You must remember we are on the bridge, following, even if, at times, from a distance.

 

This litany of condemnation leads me to the only figure we have not discussed - Jesus. Look at His face, such compassion, and empathy. To whom do you think these emotions are lent? To everyone in the picture - to All! Every other character has carved upon them distress, sorrow, uncertainty, grief, doubt, utter sadness. Jesus? Etched in utter delivery. Here I AM, He says to everyone: the accuser and the accused. Do with Me what you wish, but I AM here for you.

 

During your day:

Now the chief priests

and the whole council sought

false testimony against Jesus

that they might put him to death,

but they found none,

though many false witnesses came forward.

At last, two came forward...

(Matthew 26: 59-61)

 

Read any of the Gospel accounts of The Jesus before the high priest:

Luke 22: 66-71; Mark 14: 53-65; Matthew 26: 57-68; John 18: 12-14  

 

Throughout your day:

INHALE: I follow.

EXHALE: You lead.

(repeat as many times as needed)

 

Before you end your day:

Every sin I’ve committed

clings to Your robe;

my footsteps must follow

the path You now go.

I pray You will grant me

the strength to forgive.

Oh, and when I cast forward

my own blaming words,

I pray that within,

lament will be stirred

Amen.​

 

Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.

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