Monday, January 23, 2006

Monday's Meditation

"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life has set me free from the law of sin an death."

-St. Paul's Epistle to the Church of Rome 8:1-2

Through a series of family dramas that have unraveled over the last year and a half, I have become quite familiar with the term "condemn" as it relates to another word that sends chills down our spines, and that word is "judge."

Now, I suppose that there are two kinds of judging. The first relates to the idea of choosing or discerning, while the other has to do with condemning. It is right and good for us to discern - to gather the pertinent facts and make a choice or decision. I know of no one who would say that it is wrong to judge in this capacity.

Condemnation, on the other hand, has to do with casting aside, exiling, or separating. In the verse above we learn that those who follow Jesus are no longer exiled from God. They are now able to experience the fullness of Kingdom goodness as they learn about and grow into their Kingdom nature.

This idea of condemnation is interesting to me in that condemnation comes from a party, in this case God, choosing to be separated from another over a grievance or offense. At the same time, reconciliation - the undoing of condemnation - is extended from the offended party, again God, to the offender. There is nothing that the offender can do to reconcile. All of the pleas, offerings, gifts, and "changes in heart" fall upon deaf ears until the offended party relents and chooses to reconcile.