Today is Report Writing Day. We started the day with a staff breakfast of croissants, fruit salad, bacon … I digress! Every semester the staff is given a day to write reports on all the students under their charge. Teachers trawl through their markbooks, revisit the behaviour comments they’ve made and then reflect on what they should write about the students.
Teachers don’t use the sarcastic comments they have filed away. “Johnny is trying, very trying.” “If Billy’s brains were gunpowder he wouldn’t have enough to blow is hair off”. And so forth. It is tempting to use these phrases at times but we want to keep our jobs.
Report writing, or its equivalent has become an integral part of modern day business. There are evaluations going on on all the time; productivity, efficiency, health and safety, profitability and a myriad of others.
Somehow they all pale into insignificance when we read about God’s Report Writing Day – often described in Scripture as the “Day of the Lord”. Matthew chapters 24 & 25 give us some of the most graphic, maybe even, chilling, accounts of this day. Here we read of the image of sheep and goats being separated, of wise and foolish virgins. They are all pointed metaphors/parables reminding us of the ultimate reality of the day.
We also discover that being righteous, that is, having come to faith in Christ and being covered by his righteousness, is not simply an action of the mouth. Being righteous is a lifestyle. It is exemplified by the person who helps the poor, the prisoner, the hungry and thirsty. This person does it because of the new life they are living in Christ. Christ, in fact, takes it one step further when he says, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matt25:40).
Jesus is not describing a “works salvation” but he is saying that a person’s new life in him will be reflected in a radically new life style.
Well, today is Report Writing Day, but will we be ready when God’s final “Report Writing Day” arrives?