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John 8:1:11

The Word of God

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?' They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 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. Jesus straightened up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, sir.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.'

John 8:1:11
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Where do I stand in this scene: like the woman standing before her accusers? Like a silent sympathiser hoping that something will happen to save her? Like the skulking male adulterer who got her into this trouble? Like the bystanders already collecting the best stones with a view to a killing? Like one of the elders who slink away, unable to cast the first stone? What goes through my head as Jesus is doodling in the sand?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • Where do I stand in this scene: like the woman standing before her accusers? Like a silent sympathiser hoping that something will happen to save her? Like the skulking male adulterer who got her into this trouble? Like the bystanders already collecting the best stones with a view to a killing? Like one of the elders who slink away, unable to cast the first stone? What goes through my head as Jesus is doodling in the sand?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus prayed for his own sake and that others might believe through his prayer and his example. Prayer is never a solitary exercise, even when we pray alone. It brings us in touch with the body of Christ, of Jesus who is risen from death, and of Jesus present in all his people. Prayer affects the lives of others; in that sense prayer is political, affecting how we live together, asking to be unbound and live in freedom like Lazarus. Knowing that others pray with Sacred Space can help my life of prayer.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • Jesus prayed for his own sake and that others might believe through his prayer and his example. Prayer is never a solitary exercise, even when we pray alone. It brings us in touch with the body of Christ, of Jesus who is risen from death, and of Jesus present in all his people. Prayer affects the lives of others; in that sense prayer is political, affecting how we live together, asking to be unbound and live in freedom like Lazarus. Knowing that others pray with Sacred Space can help my life of prayer.
    • These words of Jesus are spoken all the time: ‘I do not condemn you’. In prayer we often feel condemned for our past, or just for whatever in ourselves makes us feel shame. We condemn ourselves for meanness in the past, for our use of people for our own ends. We may also condemn ourselves for feelings we have or aspects of our personalities of which we feel ashamed. We can do nothing better than come before the Lord in shame and sin, and allow the words of mercy, ‘I do not condemn you’ fill the shame, the guilt which makes our hearts and souls so empty.
    • Jesus is the one who never condemns, even when we are most condemnatory of ourselves. The look of Jesus to this condemned woman saved her - the look of divine and everlasting love. In prayer we can bring all the shame and guilt of our lives to this story of forgiveness and hear words spoken to each of us - ‘I do not condemn you.'
    • As the people reflected on their lives and realized their need for forgiveness, they turned and went away. As I reflect on my life and consider my need for forgiveness I realise that I need to draw closer to Jesus, who loves me.
    • I hear the words of Jesus speaking to me - not condemning me, but giving me a new mission and anew vision of myself.
    • This story often invites people to heap criticism on the Pharisees; we can become critical, judgemental and superior just as we notice these traits in the Pharisees. 'Don't look out', Jesus says, 'look in'. I look in to my heart and become aware of my own need for forgiveness.
    • What Jesus said to the woman he says to me, 'I don't condemn you. Go on your way and don't sin.' I am before Jesus, not condemned but being sent on my way, loved and trusted.
    • If Jesus were to write a quiet message on the ground for me, what would it be?