“I watched him sneak into the Feast of Tabernacles, and use the same inconspicuous entry way that I used on many occasion after I let the Pharisee have his way with me. I watched him stand in the dark corners I often assigned to myself, to watch the world that rejected me go by. And I was there in the back, at the Temple door, hiding behind the pillar because there was just something about the man the Pharisee felt was a danger to his corrupted living, that I needed to understand.
And on that day as his siblings watched him with disbelief; and the Jews watched him with disdain; and the crowd watched with distance between them and he, he told them what was true. For they were upset with his power to heal…on the Sabbath day… when they broke the laws of Moses every day. He told them to judge righteously and I didn’t truly understand because I had heard him say in the near past “Judge Not”.
But today…on this day…I now understand. Because, today was the day I righteously judged my own situation. The day I made a decision to render the garments I had unrighteously accepted. No longer worrying about how my appearance looked to those who cared nothing for my soul. And as I judged…I was in turn judged unrighteously for a crime no one had a problem with me committing before it became a problem to me. And it would be Jesus…the one who used the same inconspicuous entrance into the Feast of Tabernacles that I refused to enter through anymore…that would challenge the unrighteous crowd to lift up stones of righteousness to judge me. As he wrote in the dirt…righteous judgment would convict us all to walk away from what we knew was not right. I am alive on this day because of Jesus…and the righteous judgment that lead me to him, and him to me, is eternally thankful.”
Rev. Stephanie Duzant, Associate Minister
St. Matthew’s Community AME Church of Hollis