A Lenten Collect to Cease from Condemnation
Forgiving Lord, who knows our fragile and broken natures, you did not condemn the world, though we deserve it, but you have worked to redeem and save us from our the destruction of our own selves. May we, in turn, resist the temptation to condemn the world and vilify our fellow creatures, but follow your leading in lifting up one another in love, that all who are willing would be made whole in you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." - John 3:17
How tempted are you to write off the world or a portion of it as useless, hopeless, or irredeemably evil? Are there people or groups that you feel like just can't be redeemed or aren't worth saving? Is it difficult for you to imagine God loving particular individuals or groups of people? What might change if you were to sit with the truth that God loves even those people that are difficult to love or seem hopeless? When God loves those people, what is it like for him? What other emotions might he be experiencing, and can you share that same way of being with him?