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Look In The Sky — By John Reed

Look In The Sky
Over the last week or so, we have been treated to a celestial spectacle in the early evening western sky. The planets, Jupiter and Venus have been drawing ever closer, even joined once by the moon in a spectacular triangular formation. It’s times like these that I imagine there was once a lost verse in Job near the end of chapters 38 or 39: “where were you when I placed the stars in the sky?“
Actually, there are several references close to those words, especially in Psalms. The point being the mighty dance of the planets is a fairly obvious indicator that we are not in charge of things.
Along with all the usual foofaraw and finger-pointing we experience daily, now we see churches splitting away from others over the issue of who gets to come inside and worship or stand in the pulpit.
My grandmother was the daughter of a Methodist preacher. I was raised with the idea of churches being places of welcome and invitation. Now it seems like some are places of exclusion. Certain sins are unacceptable. Somehow, minor sins don’t matter as much as major sins.
Maybe it’s these new modern translations of the Scripture, or maybe it’s just my old fashioned medieval interpretation. My understanding was ever since that first mistake in Eden, mankind is by definition sinful. Every thought we have, every action we take, the very air we breathe is corrupt. And by definition human institutions are impure.
Somewhere along the line, we have lightened up on some things, such as stoning people for adultery or divorce. Eating certain forbidden foods would cause eternal damnation. The judging God of the Old Testament became the forgiving God of the New. Maybe so. But along the way, we have taken it upon ourselves to become the judges.
Make no mistake: I am not a man of the cloth, nor any less corrupt than anyone else. But does it make any sense for certain sinners to judge other sinners? I think a better policy would be to hate the sin, love the sinner. Active participation in churches nationwide continues to fall. Maybe if they were more welcoming, that trend would reverse.
True judgment and forgiveness is beyond our capability. One only needs to look in the sky to know the certainty.

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