Saturday after Ash Wednesday

The Pointing of the Finger

How easy it is to judge and criticize others. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day specialized in accusations:

The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”   (Luke 5:30)

Jesus answered that He came to save sinners. Is that our desire as well? That sinners will be saved? It is not the desire of the Devil. He has come to kill, steal, and destroy our lives. Satan is the “the accuser of the brethren.” That is his “ministry.” The Pharisees eagerly joined him.

What does God think about this judgmental nature? We read from Isaiah:

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.   (Isaiah 58:9–10)

“The pointing of the finger” was a trademark of the Pharisees. Why do we point our fingers at others? Perhaps it is a way to draw attention away from ourselves. We place our guilt and shame on others when when we need to bring it to the cross.

Lent is a time to removing the yokes, not helping Satan engineer them.

This is a time to turn to Christ Jesus. He is the answer to our guilt and shame. The psalmist wrote:

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.   (Psalm 86:11)

If we fear God, if we honor him, if we choose to live in his presence, then our attitudes will change.

Are we prepared to give up parts of ourselves that us from giving others. Is the price too high? God the Father gave up his only begotten Son so that he might forgive us.

“Teach me your way, O Lord.”

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Filed under lectionary, Lent, Lenten daily readings, Lenten study, Year C

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