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"The Darkness of Rash Judgment"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer

Read John 1:43-51. TEXT: "Can anything good come out
of Nazareth? ..." (John 1:46a).

Lenten Devotion- As we near the end of John's first chapter,
Jesus is gathering His twelve disciples. Even here we see
the battle rage between light and darkness -- in this case
it's the darkness of a preconceived notion. Before he ever
met Jesus, Nathanael arrogantly asks, "Can anything good
come out of Nazareth?"

That's what the darkness in us does. We sit as judge of
everyone and everything around us, jumping to conclusions
about people without knowing their whole story. And it's just
too bad for the person who doesn't fit into our nice neat
categories -- whether it's that nerdy kid at school who
doesn't dress like we do or that estranged family member,
quirky neighbor or congregation full of hypocrites. We even
do the same with God. We judge His holiness and
faithfulness by the circumstances of our lives. We don't
give God the right to be God.

Philip is wise. He doesn't try to argue away Nathanael's
prejudice. He gives his friend a simple invitation: "Come and
see." He is confident Jesus will shatter Nathanael's false
judgment, and Jesus doesn't disappoint him.

Lent is the time to humble ourselves and to come to Jesus
and admit our rash judgments. Jesus does something we
would never expect: He shines His grace, power and love as
He suffers from the darkness of human rejection, flogging
and a cross. Yet in that brutality, suffering and death Jesus
won our salvation. He gathers us together in congregations
around His Word and Sacraments to shatter our
preconceived notions and empower us to accept one
another and work together to show His love to all those
around us.


Lord Jesus, forgive me for judging by appearances. Open my
heart to see You as You are and to share Your Name
everywhere I go. Amen.

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