Monday, December 26, 2016

How it is Easy to Accuse but Hard to Forgive

John 8:7-10 (NRSV): Jesus Teaches Forgiveness

7 . . . [Jesus Said,] “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. . .”

While Jesus teaches in the temple, the religious leaders bring an adulterous woman into His presence, expecting Jesus to condemn her as they do. Jesus has another plan, however. He turns the tables and teaches a lesson about universal human culpability and forgiveness. All, as evidenced by not a person throwing a stone, are sinners, even the most pious, pride-filled legalists.

Jesus teaches us that we, too, make mistakes and sin. But if we seek Him in the midst and aftermath of those mistakes, we are not only forgiven but given the grace to do better, to love more, to forgive, and to sympathize and support others who fall. Through Christ’s forgiveness and love, we are given a new lease on living.

I pray that we all enjoy our time off and that our lives be a living witness to the forgiveness and love of God.

Merry Christmas!