And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” John 12:44-50
Recently, as we traveled, I noticed two young women commenting about another young woman. They were talking quite loudly and cattily judging her. A beautiful young woman and these others, also smart and attractive seemed to need to put someone else down. They were strangers to one another. I was tempted to say something to the judging women, but held back so as not to embarrass my family. It is so easy to judge, so easy to hurt, and words can do damage to the sensitive and secure alike.
Jesus is telling about his relationship to God and how he does nothing alone, but rather in connected and in relationship with the Creator. In that role and relationship, the one who came to earth as living God in the flesh did not consider it his job to judge. His job was to save the world - through love, healing and compassion. What if we all considered our true calling to be saving the world one relationship at a time in order to honor God? What if we all saw our mission as that of living fully honoring others with love, compassion and forgiveness?
Today I ask God to help me do my part to save the world through love, compassion and forgiveness. May we set aside judgment, may we give up on criticism and gossip, and turn our attention to offering hope and solutions where there were none. May our hands be busy with embrace and welcome and may our hearts be full of compassion and forgiveness.