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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Judgment and Grace

I have certainly been the subject of judgment: cops have ticketed me, my wife has rightly reproved me, my parents wielded the righteous and infallible hammer of parenthood, I’ve been accused of drunkenness, I’ve been labeled a judgmental Pharisee. And boy have I returned the favor.

I've stood on the outside and seen a lot of judgment as well, whether it was a Baptist friend desperate to keep me out of the AG, or an AG friend bent on showing that Roman Catholics are all going to hell. We all have issues with judgment, don't we?

Of course it is always easier to judge than to be judged. Therein is the rub of the matter, or rather the slice: Judging is like a double edged sword with which we kill others and then ourselves. And we are very good at it. I know I am.

Judge me and my initial reaction is to go into “war mode.” Defend myself. Then go offensive and make sure to point out the error in your accuser’s own life – whether remotely related or not – it doesn’t matter. We as a society LOVE doing this…that’s why fallen preachers are such GREAT media fodder: we can rest easy as sinners knowing that I’m no worse than anyone else (which is why we claim otherwise in the pre-communion prayers). Oh and how we love the “judge not” verses in this situation…we hurl it around like a crazed TV preacher shouting “don’t touch God’s anointed!” In the end, will I let any light get through? Hell no, not since “so and so” pointed it out! No light….all HEAT.

Ahhh…but when I wield the sword of judgment, somehow the “judge not” verses can be cleverly circumnavigated. Some grand cause…some great sense of my own humility…some great pressing and unrecognized need in others excuses me and I stand in utter innocence…righteous…holy. Actually, I’m covered in my own feces, and apparently I love it!

Where is Grace? Might as well ask: Where is God? Or What is God doing? Where is the wind blowing? Surely I know? Here comes the whirlwind, better tie yourself down.

I don’t know where Grace isn’t...but I do know where it…or rather HE is.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant that I may perceive
my own transgressions,
and judge not my brother,
for blessed art Thou
unto ages of ages.


Clearly, it's not just for Lent. May my heart sing it everyday. Has not Orthodoxy taught us the need for purification? SELF-purification? Put the cleaner down you were intending to use on your brother.

...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 8:52 AM [+]
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