“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:1-12
After I graduated from high school, I bought myself a bike with the money I had received as graduation gifts. We had come to the Point for the summer and I went to Swain's hardware and bought a ten-speed bike. It took me everywhere. I had no money for a car and found I could get around just fine on the bike. My bike took me everywhere and gave me time to think and ponder. Even now, I look forward to getting back on the bike. I have a different one now, but I have always found that I can think through many things, I can pray and settle my spirit when I am riding along, with no direction but forward. I can seek God most completely on the bike, spinning through familiar country side, avoiding people and cars, and listening to the songs of the birds. We each seek God in different ways, but God finds us, when we open our hearts and take a chance at listening.
Jesus continues his practical instruction to the disciples. Judging others, no matter how tasty an opportunity, puts us in jeopardy. We are invited to seek God first, and to know God as a loving father ready to give good gifts to us. We need but seek and ask, with open hearts and ears ready to listen. God does not want us to spend our time judging, criticizing, waging war and being first or on top. God would have us consider the needs of one another and live with compassion and forgiveness at every turn. And we are invited to know God and know God's abundance every day.
Today, I ask God to help me be patient with the healing process and with the days ahead. It is easy to sip into judgement and anger, to count up the hurts, instead of seeing the blessings. So today, let us all chose to seek God, to knock and ask for what we need, knowing God to be better than the best parent and responding when we can only whimper and whine. May we be so blessed to know God that the world seeks God through our witness.