December 7, 2022

Isaiah 6:1-13 |  2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 |  John 7:53-8:11

Judgement – it seems to surround us these days! We watch behaviors in isolation and make judgements. We hear the news and make judgements. We make decisions, set priorities, and discern our paths by judging what we believe is right or wrong, suitable to the moment, or best for … who? The Pharisees in today’s reading from John set out to test Jesus with the intent of making a charge against him. Holding fast to the law, they bring a woman forth who has clearly committed adultery. The judgement by Moses’ law, they say, would be to stone her to death. Yet, Jesus breaks into that one-dimensional sense of ‘the law’ and introduces a greater truth—God’s persistent and unconditional love for all of us. This woman committed a sin, yes, but what about the sins committed by those seeking to kill her? What drives them to think this action is just? Is her sin greater than the many other sins present among those ready to cast a stone? Jesus asks the crowd to consider this, to think about their own sins, and ultimately their own relationship with God. He then tells the woman that he does not condemn her, asking her to go and sin no more.

I love that Jesus takes his time in responding, keeping silent while the crowd demands a judgement. I wonder what he wrote in the ground, and whether anyone took note of his scribbles. I often look back on different occasions and wish that I had kept silent or doodled (or anything!) while forming a judgement or considering a situation. What is it that makes us rush to judgement? In those few moments of silence and waiting, I am reminded that the opportunity for grace and insight reside. As we move through this Advent season of waiting, I pray for the patience and will to seek that greater truth…that grace that awaits as we take the time to pray, listen, and hear what Jesus calls us to do.

Deborah Collins

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