Today’s Lenten word comes from John 12:37-50 NRSV
37Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah:“Lord, who has believed our message,and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”39And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said,40 “[God] has blinded their eyesand hardened their heart,so that they might not look with their eyes,and understand with their heart and turn —and I would heal them.”41Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. 42Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.
44Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in [God] who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees [God] who sent me. 46I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49for I have not spoken on my own, but [God] who sent me has given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that [God’s] commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as [God] has told me.”
Today’s meditation word(s) is not judge. The Greek root for no is οὐ meaning no or not. And the Greek word for judge is krinó meaning come to a choice (decision, judgment) by making judgment which can be positive (a verdict in favor of) or negative (which rejects or condemns).
Most people, I believe, are judgmental one way or another. Christianity and maybe all religions and beliefs are all judgmental – my belief is the truth and your belief is untrue, wrong false.
I used to think that my belief is the truth. Then I recognized that my belief is hurtful to others; reject other people’s perspectives; ignore other people’s narrative and their truth. But what is the truth? All I know is that God has given us the commandment to love God, others and self. And judging others is not a way of showing God’s love to other people.