Tonight, you are at home, in the last hour before your bedtime. Suddenly, Jesus is there in your room visible, what would He say to you about your week?
Each Sunday, we say that we believe that He will come again to judge the living and the dead in the Nicene Creed. It can feel overwhelming to consider one’s whole life under the loving but just scrutiny of the Lord Christ. So, as an exercise, just zoom in on the past week. Jesus describes the Son of Man coming to judge all people at the end of time in Matthew 25. He says that the judgment starts by commending the positive actions of the Just. That is important, because when we face authority, we always seem afraid of being found in the wrong. In the parable, Jesus says the Judge starts with the good deeds. So, if you were to consider the last week, for what actions or words do you think He would speak your name and say, “That was well done? Can you imagine Christ blessing you for some things that were not on your list? The surprise of the Just is part of the point of His parable. The Just never thought that the good deeds that they were doing were noteworthy. So for what this week, do you think Jesus would say, “Well done”?
On Sundays, we also ask God forgiveness for “what we have done and what we have left undone.” For what would you ask forgiveness in your work and life with your family and those around you? What are your omissions or seasoned sins this week? Pushing your “suppose” conversation with Christ, what about your “secret faults”? We all have them. If you asked someone who actively dislikes you, what might be added, if your defenses were down, that needs consideration and change of life? I find that listening to those who cannot stand me gives me needed perspective on myself. Would any of those criticisms, dusted off of dislike, be matters to seek for forgiveness and guidance from Christ? The magnificent Psalm 19 that begins by praising God for the heavens in their glory, ends with verse 12, “Who can tell how often he offends? Cleanse me from my secret faults,” and verse 14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.”
Just suppose He comes to your house tonight. I invite you to this Lenten exercise.