OK – so, a while back, in my reading of “Deeper Than Words” (Br. David Stindl-Rast) I found myself in the chapter for the phrase “He will judge the living and the dead.”
I’ve always been fairly literal in my reading of that phrase — and as a result it has always caused me great discomfort — not a positive discomfort, but one of fear.
But, in reading and also reflecting back on my post from a few days ago I seem to understand in with different eyes: In many ways it’s like I was trying to get at in that post: that which is just and right doesn’t condemn us — it shows us justice and rightness and leads up to a more perfect order… Br. David uses the example of justification in the sense of turning on justification in your word processor. It makes things line up.
And so, Jesus indeed did not come to condemn the world, but just by His existence, he in someway judges the world. He shines the like on imperfections and shows the way to go. Those who are living (alive in God) and those who are dead (who may walk and talk and breathe, but are unaware of a deeper life) have a light shining on them so that things can be seen clearly.
That definition of justification just makes so much sense to me. It makes justification more of an act of calling forth the best in someone rather than picking them apart for not being perfect.