It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Between death and the last judgment, a reflection on 2 Esdras 7:62-101

Ezra asked, "How much worse off we are than animals--we know that we are going to judged; they don't. After all,  we each of us has sinned." Uriel replied, "From the beginning, God established standards and measurement. Yes, you have a mind, so you will understand breaking the commandments is sinful. How long should the Most High be patient? Does patience encourage disobedience?"

Ezra wanted to know what will happen in that interim period between an individual's death and the point of the last judgment of everyone. After assuring Ezra that he was blameless, he talks about the ways to the new creation.

"There are seven different ways that someone may have to travel: torment, purgatory, seeing the reward, considering the punishment, seeing how some are guarded by angels, crossing over torments, and wasting away in confusion and shame at the sins committed."

Uriel then described the process of those that have kept the ways of the Most High, also seven categories.

I keep going back to Ezra's question of whether it worse to know that we are going to be judged.

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