Lord, when we hear these words of Jesus about the separation of people that is to come at the end of the age we might be filled with relief that justice will one day be done or with sadness that some will choose a way that takes them away from you—or both.
But Lord, if we are in fact counted among the “righteous,” cause us to weep and gnash our teeth over the ways that our attitudes, words and actions might be part of what keeps the “evil” from drawing close to you rather than pulling away from you.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50)