#MercyIsYours #WomanCaughtInAdultery #GoodNews #NoJudgement #GraceSaves #CastNoStones #PrayForMe #CheckYourPriviledge #CheckYourSin #CheckYourSelf #LoveYourNeighbor #LoveWins #Forgiveness #7X77Xs #GodsGrace
Last Sunday we closed out our latest sermon series with a message about mercy! I love the idea of mercy – just the sound of the word opens my heart to that intention. It’s like the opposite of judgement, you know? So, there’ this well-known story in the Gospel of John about one who is known and named only for her sin. That is a pattern in our bible and in our world.
Well, “The woman caught in adultery” is brought (without her sexual partner) to Jesus for the sole purpose of entrapping him. And the religious leaders suggest she should be stoned for her actions.
Like all of our Bad Girls of the Bible – this unnamed human being – whose story forms the foundation for one of Jesus’ most famous moral teachings – was not really the whole purpose of the story!? Portrayed by history and her accusers as a vulgar vamp we discovered that she was actually more a victim betrayed by the system that was supposed to protect her.
But Jesus did what Jesus always does – he took a beat – and a breath which I think was probably a prayer for patience with these religious leaders who were all puffed up and judge-y – and then he turned the whole think on it’s head and challenged everyone (including us) with these words: “Let the one who is without sin, throw the first stone.”
In other words, check yourself dudes – check your privilege, check your own shortcomings, and check your spiritual condition. Check your own heart and soul and choices and broken relationships before you start casting judgement on others!
Because – we all make mistakes.
And thus, we are all in need of Grace; the Grace of God and the grace we show each other when resist judging each other.
We are all in need of Grace:
Adulterers, Religious Leaders, Civic leaders;
Believers, Questioners, Non-believers;
all genders, all circumstances, all conditions;
all human beings – all in need of mercy.
And here’s the really good news – that mercy is ours for the asking because God’s Grace is freely given as an act of extravagant love by the Creator of all that is. What a blessing it is to know that we are forgiven. So stop throwing stones and go forgive someone today. Because you never know whose life you may save by resisting the temptation to judge. It might even be yours!
And join us this Sunday for worship – because everybody needs a little sanctuary.