Judgment Day(s) – Lenten Day 2

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Lent, Uncategorized, When Church Hurts
Tags: , ,

It is, perhaps, the coldest day of the winter where I live. -4 degrees and a -20 wind chill. Yet, here I am, warm and content, in my prairie-mission, turn-of-the-century, brick home. Soon I will venture out and make my 40 minute commute where I will bask in the (mostly) delighted, yet trepidation-filled eyes of sixth graders preparing to perform tonight for a judge.

What those students don’t yet realize is that the judge is not on a quest to find and magnify every error no matter how slight or glaring. The judge’s mission is to encourage, to say, “Well done at measure 23!” and “Thank you for playing today!” and “Keep up the great work!”

Oh, there will be some comments that go like this: “Don’t forget to use lots of air!” and “Remember, F# is played with the ring finger.” But that’s a lot different from, “You missed the F#’s throughout this piece! Don’t you know what a key signature is?”

The goal is to let the student know that whatever happens, their performance is appreciated and to encourage them to continue on with even greater effort and determination.

So, today, whatever your Lenten intentions or commitments are, remember to frame your thoughts positively. Live in a spirit of encouragement. Know that your efforts are appreciated and that there is no condemnation from the “Judge.”

It is already finished. Rest. Be content. You are loved so deeply.

  1. Ellen, I ran across your blog as I was perusing Rebekah’s blog: A New Song To Sing. I’m a pastor. Just want you to know that I appreciate the critique you offer of church. Like you, I’ve been in ecclesial systems that are abusive, and have been the victim of it myself (I’ve been fired or forced out of places several times). It’s sad to me that the very ones who are to follow in the footsteps of the crucified Lord, reflect the power hungry, narcissism against which Jesus warned. I pray our God heals your hurt. Pray for me, sister, that, as a pastor, I will lead on my knees, with a towel around my waist. Shalom, sister.

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