Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796.
Matthew 7: 1-5
Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.
Samuel Seabury, was born November 30, 1729, Groton, Connecticut U.S. and died February 25, 1796, New London, Connecticut, U.S. He was the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. He became known for his comprehensive and eloquent pamphlets urging Americans not to seek independence from the British crown, published anonymously under the name “A. W. Farmer.” His first pamphlet, entitled Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress (1774). We are still in the context of the Sermon on the Mount and here Jesus moved to another level of the sermon. Initially he had dealt with the inner being that is issues of attitudes in giving, prayer, fasting, materialism, and anxiety over material things. Now he shifts to the aspect of how we relate with others. Our major problem is that we constantly make judgments unaware. The mental pictures we make of others in our lives are composed more of our biased perceptions than reality. This is because we see in others whatever serves to make us feel better about ourselves not about them. More often our own faults are the ones we least tolerate in other people. In this passage, Jesus focuses on leaving judgement to God and instead showing compassion for the weaknesses of others. May the Lord help us not to be judgmental of others.
Let Us Pray
whose blessed Son was revealed
to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory
we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
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