We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

“Letting Go” – Diocese of Atlanta, Week 4

Letting Go of Condemnation

If God had a tattoo, like some of us do, across God’s strong forearm it would read, “I love the world.” Everything God seems to do flows from that reality. God loves the world so much, God responded by giving God’s self, God’s son, to the world. Jesus coming among us is God’s love-errand, so that we wouldn’t “perish” or be “condemned” but have “eternal life.” That is life beyond biological definition now, and life so long and deep that years fail as a measurement tool.

The purpose of God coming among was/is not to “condemn” but to “save.” If that is so, I’m pretty sure that means as recipients of this gracious purpose and act of God, we have to let go of the right to condemn others. Decades ago I was a U.S. Navy Search and Rescue Diver. We were deployed in helicopters when things went really bad. We were deployed for rescue not to condemn people for being in situations that required rescue.

Forgoing condemnation of others or even ourselves is deeper than performing politeness toward others or better, kinder, self-talk. Letting go of condemnation is about the appreciation of how God uses power. And, mercy is a sublime expression of power. Having received mercy, our pride and insistence on one-upmanship is purged and real relationship is now possible.