Mercy, Totally Undeserved

Mercy, Totally Undeserved!

John 8:1-11

The story of the woman caught in adultery is a microcosm of humanity, and our attitudes. And at one time or another each of us is in the role of Jesus, the woman, or the scribes and Pharisees.

Scribes and Pharisees: When we are confronted by events and things that threaten us, call into question long held beliefs, we become rigid, controlling, and have all the answers–we become the scribes and Pharisees. Youth on the street we desire to be  fixed, we want them to go to high school, college, and be clean. And yet they live in a different world, and so we sit back in judgement, spouting  forth what we think is right or wrong; people do not believe the Bible the way we do, and so we say, “You are unsaved.” We are asked to share of what we have for the homeless and we recoil, using excuses, “they will misuse it, etc.”. And like this scribes and Pharisees we get caught up in the crowd, crowds are safe, and we join them in condemnation to the point of putting people to death


The Woman Caught in Adultery:  The woman has been dragged by an angry mob, she has committed adultery with some of these very same guys, and yet she keeps her mouth shut, like a rabbit caught in the glare of  head lights, she is stunned, can not move or think, and is terrified.

I relate to her. Countless times through my life I have been dragged, shamed, and condemned by the legal system for prostitution, by people who condemned me because of my sexual orientation, and by people who have no understanding of my ministry–and so they sit in judgment. If we all think for a moment–we all have had the same experience.

Jesus: We come to Jesus, kneeling,  patiently writes with his finger on the ground, he lets the crowd yell, and waits for them to calm down, and then he looks up at them and says, “You that is without sin, cast the first stone.” Jesus knows all of us are sinners, none of us are pure. Our sin is all around us–our lack of care, and concern for our neighbor–and yet when we become silent he says: “Go and sin no more!” Giving us a chance to try again, and again, and again.

Jesus calls us to wait patiently before judging, and than to say “Go and sin no more,” understanding that all of us are sinners, and through his grace we are given a new chance, time after time.

Go and Sin No More!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

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