Sunday’s Scripture – November 22, 2020
In recent weeks, we’ve talked about our common bond in Christ. We share a common bond as God’s people, including all the saints before us. We share a common bond with the Universal Church, all Christians around the world. And we share a common bond in our calling, witness, and talents as given by God.
But there’s another thing that we share in common: a Judge.
This week, we face the fact that there is a Judge. It isn’t our neighbor, thank goodness, but it isn’t us either. “There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy,” says James 4:12. And, according to Matthew 25:31-46, it is none other than the Son of Man Himself.
In this passage, Jesus gives a glimpse of what we can expect in those last days. First, Christ will return in glory, accompanied by the angels. Then, all the nations will be gathered before God. Next, God will begin to separate the righteous from the unrighteous. Finally, God will welcome those on God’s right into the eternal kingdom and send those on His left into eternal punishment.
And if there is a Judge, then there is a Judgment, and a day of Judgement too.
As for Judgment, Matthew 25 makes the criteria simple and clear. How well did we love and take care of our neighbor?
And as for a Judgment day, well, now we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Advent is the season of the Church calendar in which we prepare for Christ’s coming. (It’s actually the Church’s New Year.) And it begins in about a week. Not only do we remember Christ’s first coming, as a babe in a manger, but we prepare for His second coming, when He will ride in on the clouds as the Conquering King. In those last days, Christ will separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, those who are in Christ and those who are not. No matter who you are, the Judge, Judgment, and Judgment day are common to us all.
If this is convicting, then good! It should be! But also, take heart. This Judge, this Son of Man, this Conquering King is not just any judge. He is an able and worthy Judge. And there is none other as good and right and true.
- Do you tend to face Judgment or avoid it? Why?
- How can you better care for your neighbors, especially in this season of Covid when we are supposed to remain more socially distanced?