Reflection on Judgment
Anna Holleman and Weslie Detwiler
Colorado ESC corps members
In the season of Lent, we remember God’s judgment against the Israelites as they wandered for 40 years in the desert. We remember God’s judgment against Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We remember that we are separated from God because our of broken humanity caused by the Fall. We engage in practices, such as fasting and confession, to remember the righteous judgment of God against our sin and pride.
But this judgment is only one part of the story. Just as God allowed the Israelites to finally enter the Promised Land, just as He allowed Moses to create a serpent of bronze to save the Israelites from the plague of snakes He sent among them, God allows us to enter back into redemption after our own falls. Easter comes after Lent. Easter redeems this time of remembering our own rebellion and separation from God. We remember that Good Friday did not have the last word. Jesus died on a Roman cross and rose from the tomb on the third day, absorbing the judgment meant for us and instead offering us mercy. He took the finality of our brokenness and offered us healing. Lent is a time to remember judgment, but even more so it is a time to remember that, as Christians, we have hope beyond hope, in a grace that sees past the largest shortcomings and failures. Psalm 107:20: “He sent forth his word and healed them and saved them from the grave.”
As Christians, it is our call to not only humbly accept and respond to this extravagant grace, but also to offer the grace we have received to others around us. Engaging the world right where we are is not a work that is done by pushing through in our own strength. It is by accepting our own weakness and need for God to dwell in us, and therefore work through us.