Crossing Boulevard with Rev. Rachel
18 CHARGE THAT TO MY ACCOUNT Philemon
It was my second year of div school. Our Homiletics professor had assigned a day to each of us, the day that we would preach. We anticipated surprises. But no one expected Teddy to come out swinging like he did.
By swinging, I do not mean to evoke images of aggression but rather how several sentences in, the Teddy we knew had gone to a whole ‘nother level. This man was talking about Judge Judy. And we were laughing—borderline hysterically.
It was no passing reference. No, for the polite and sensitive middle-aged man before us, it had not been a first rodeo. Teddy watched Judge Judy. And he was preaching her.
Of course, he would not ultimately preach her. True to his MO, Teddy would shed light on the mighty ways of God and the grace that does not quit. What Judge Judy provided was a lesson on co-signing.
Evidently, people come to Judy over and again with complaints that stem from one person bailing on what another had perceived to be a joint venture. A plaintiff shares how he/she is left with the burden of payment and a downgraded credit score. A defendant appears baffled by this other’s description of their agreement.
Again, evidently, because this is all second-hand, the television judge greets these cases with an impatient and aggravated spirit. I suppose she has seen it one too many times. Judy wears her disbelief on the sleeve of her robe. She wants to know why in the world people act as a co-signer when all indicators suggest a mess will come of it.
It is what Teddy said next that I now treasure. Following Christ means giving Judy no more than her due. It means stepping back far enough and long enough to consider how the virtues of this world may not be synonymous God’s will. God. Disciples ask: Who has God shown God’s self to be and how will that our starting point?
Paul writes: Put it on my tab. He did so for reasons beyond the circumstances surrounding Philemon. Out of allegiance to grace and through Christ whom he experienced as an outpouring to all kinds of unreliable characters, Paul says: “Charge that to my account,”
Judy would not have approved. But God may have. I hear you, Teddy. I hear you. A belated but hearty Amen~