Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Do you know this man?

In church yesterday we had a guest speaker. His name was Phil and he told the story of the pharisees bringing to Jesus the woman 'caught in adultery'.

They asked Jesus what they should do with her (the punishment required by law was stoning).

Jesus didn't say anything; he bent over and started to write in the sand. It doesn't say what he wrote. He might have written, 'Where's the man?'

Phil suggested that the reason Jesus wrote anything was to draw the crowd's attention away from the woman, who would have been shamed and fearful.

When he was sure he had all their attention, Jesus said, 'Let him without sin cast the first stone.'

Gradually they all drifted away until it was only the woman and Jesus left. He turned to her and said, 'Go and sin no more.'

You see, that is the God I worship. The God of forgiveness and love.

I have trouble recognising the God portrayed in anti-Christian rants, the one blamed for the fundamentalists and extremists.

The God I know cares not only for the big things but for the little things too. Yes, Jesus saved her life, but he also cared enough about her immediate humiliation and fear to give her some freedom from that, and some dignity.

That is the God I love.