This week’s article is written by Jan VanMeter, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church.
I received this poem in an e-mail and decided to share it as my article:
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
as I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
who made me sputter and gasp —
the thieves, the liars, the sinners,
the alcoholics, the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
was rotting away in hell,
was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, "What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.
"And why's everyone so quiet,
so somber? Give me a clue."
"Hush, child," said He, "they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you."
The anonymous author of this poem is pointing out that we should “Judge Not”…the Bible in John 7:24, says and I paraphrase: Jesus is telling us if we judge, do so righteously; which means to use the Truth of the Word to decide sins and to not judge by appearances only.
A scripture in John has been falsely used to shame people for what is done in His name. We have all used this scripture: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." In this scripture Jesus forgives the sinner but not the sin. We also have to realize that Jesus’ forgiving sin isn’t a pathway to go and sin knowing we will be forgiven. Jesus told the prostitute, “you are forgiven, go and sin no more,” and thus the latter words being the important part of this blessing. We have to remember we all fall short, but with forgiveness we can change. Jesus died to save everyone from sin and at this Easter time we are reminded of His ultimate sacrifice.