Today's readings come from Numbers, Romans, and Matthew.
In Numbers, we have the continuation of the Israelites in the wilderness wanting meat. They get their meat, and then God's anger breaks out against them and kills a bunch of them. In addition, we have the story of Moses and the 70 elders receiving the Spirit of God and prophesying. Two guys don't join Moses and the gang, but end up prophesying in the camp. Some people attempt to stop them, but Moses says it's OK.
In Romans we have the continuation of the theme of judgement. Those who judge are condemned strongly by Paul.
And in Matthew Jesus teaches us that unless we become like little children, we can't enter the Kingdom of God.
Setting aside the troublesome meat story for now, what I see is people judging others. An appropriate message for me today, given how judgmental I'm feeling about HB 1148 and the NC legislature generally.
The Israelites judge two men for prophesying in the "wrong" place.
In Romans, unnamed people judge others for sins.
In Matthew, Jesus' disciples are jockeying for position in the new Kingdom, which would necessitate judgement.
I am not to judge others. I am allowed to use judgment and critical thinking to make decisions and choices. But I cannot condemn others. We are all in this together. My goal as a Christian is to love others. If that means protesting a decision, or enforcing boundaries to keep others safe, that's OK. But I must do it with humility. I must do it remembering that the other person is connected to me: is a part of me. I must do it with true love for the "other." If God's kindness leads to repentance, then so can mine. But only if I am receiving God's Spirit.