Joan Chittister, in her book In God’s Holy Light, describes a story of Abba Moses, a desert monk, being summoned to come and judge another’s sin.
As part of his role in the community, he is bound to respond to the request. But he doesn’t want to go, at least not in the spirit of judgement or for the reasons he’s being summoned – which is essentially a public shaming.
So he’s shows up in a very different way, turning the experience into a lesson for all, both present and future.
Joan describes it this way:
[Abba] Moses comes to be the presence of the merciful and healing Jesus. He at the same time comes to raise the souls of those deadend by the lashes of law to the love of a forgiving God.
It struct me this morning how sometimes the expectation upon us is that we come in harsh judgement, but isn’t it better to come in the presence of the merciful and healing Jesus?
And when we come in a healing, merciful, loving presence, isn’t that living a better way?
So many people have been wounded by the letter of the law. People’s souls have been damaged by their experiences in life and at the hands of others.
But today, today we have a choice in what presence we will show up with. Will you come with the presence of mercy and healing and love, to raise people into the presence of a merciful and forgiving and loving God?