Monday, July 18, 2016

Matthew 13:41-43 -- On Burning versus Shining

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Matthew 13:41-43

These verses are talking about the end of the world, and they kind of remind me of a project we're doing at work, trying to get all of the bad content off the site in giant batches.  The more you clean, the more you realize how bad it really was, and how much it still needs to be improved... but despite the bad stuff, it is really good and satisfying to be able to get rid of it, and feel like you are making things better.

I think we can look around at this world and see that there is bad stuff.  Maybe, in fact hopefully, we'll never know quite how bad it is, because we'll be part of the good part, focusing on the good, and on making things better.  But we do know part of the bad because it is in us, and around us.  And part of our job as people is to help clean it up and protect others from it... including changing ourselves, and working every day to do good to others and never evil.

If we identify with the offensive and iniquitous, this probably sounds kind of dramatic and painful... the whole furnace of fire thing.  But if we're working on being part of the righteous, then shining forth as the sun sounds pretty cool.  And you know, it is interesting, because fire could be involved in *both* cases, but in one case it burns and in the other case it reflects and shines.  Maybe depending of whether we've removed the impurities from our lives.  Melting down precious metal burns off things that don't belong... so, if we're precious, and pure, we shine.  If not, we get burned up.

Today, let's determine to be among the righteous.  Let's clean up our world, not make it more filthy.  And let's look forward to the day when everything bad will be cleared away and only good will be left.  What an amazing perfect day that will be.  Let's be there to enjoy it. :)

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