June 10

2 Corinthians 5:6-10

“For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.” vs. 10

We find great comfort in the persistent theme of grace in our scriptures. Because we don’t live as we ought, we love hearing that we have forgiveness in Christ, and that our guilt has been taken from us. We’re less excited in hearing about the judgment in Christ that is also a theme of scripture. In fact most of us would just as soon take scissors to the judgment passages and make believe they aren’t there. Of course we can’t do that–and it’s just as well. There’s a reason why they’re included. They reflect the sense that most people have that there must be consequences for the stuff we do in life. It’s a part of conventional wisdom for people of all faiths. Hindus and Buddhists speak of karma and Christians say “God is going to get you for that!” So it’s not strange to see Paul use Last Judgment language to encourage his readers to be mindful of their actions. In our hearts we really do want there to be compensation for what people do–and we particularly want this for other folks! This conviction only becomes a problem when it leads us to question God’s grace and unconditional love. Judgment does not cancel out sacrificial love–both are a part of life in Christ. And we don’t get the entire picture without embracing both!

Thought for the Day: What do I think about the Last Judgment?

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