How Do We Judge Others?

Come and SeeEpiphany
Celebration of God
Manifested in the World
January 17, 2015

 Scripture Reading: John 1:43-51

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’  — John 1:43-46

 How do we judge others? Does it matter to us from where they come? Do we size them up by the clothing they wear, the car they drive, the friends they keep? Is it important how much money they make, property they own, or influence they may have? Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

When I was in high school and college I worked summers at a local chain restaurant. All the waitresses had been instructed to be sure and ask all customers if they wanted a piece of our freshly baked pies. One day I was assigned to work the counter. A man in his late sixties probably, dressed in khakis and a plaid shirt sat down at the counter and said, “I just want a cup of coffee.” As I poured the coffee I asked, “Don’t you want a piece of pie to go with that.” “He said what do you have?” I rattled off a list of all the pies baked that day and he order a piece of pecan pie. He drank his coffee, left me a nice tip, and left the pecan pie untouched. I found out later that he owned the chain and routinely liked to drop in unannounced to check on the service.

One of the greatest challenges God has placed before God’s people is recognizing the worth of every one of God’s children. Not only recognizing but working to assure that each person’s contribution to the Kingdom of God is actualized fully.  This lesson is taught by the example, of Jesus, a son of questionable birth, born to a carpenter, raised in a small unimportant village. He is the Christ, our Savior, Son of God.

Prayer: Lord teach me to respect all your children. Guide me as I work with others with whom I am in synch and with those who see the world differently than I do. Like good music unite us as one, in harmony and in dissonance, as we work together for the realization of your Kingdom here on earth.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.