Jeremiah 23: 10
The land is full of people unfaithful to the Lord;
they live wicked lives and misuse their power.
Because of the Lord's curse the land mourns
and the pastures are dry.
There is no doubt there is much that is wrong with our world, and there are many instances of selfishness, hatred, greed and evil around in many guises. The temptation is to judge. This scenario covers everything from the litter lout to the speeding driver, from the petty criminal to the arrogant dictator, from those disinterested in faith to those who advocate against faith. Some may look around secular Scotland and rue the fact that so many have wandered from the Christian faith and so they retreat behind their chosen walls. Those outside the walls have become the enemy.
Judging is not within our remit. We are called by God to share the good news of God’s love as that love has been revealed in Jesus. And Jesus doesn’t call us to barricade ourselves in behind walls, he calls us to follow him as he ventures out into the big bad world to transform the world and to transform people’s lives. This is not a time to be smug; this is not a time to judge; this is not a time to retreat; this is a time of challenge; this is a time to renew our commitment to follow; this is a time to journey with Jesus and make disciples; this is a time to remind people that there is another Way!
Lord, how we all have fallen, how we all have wandered from you. Peace is shattered, children starve, hatred and fear abound. Bring us all back home to your love that breaks down barriers, that sweeps away our sins, and renews us in your service. Reclaim our hearts that we may reclaim the hearts of others for you. In the name of Jesus. Amen.