Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Daily Office Reflection: NOW, what do you say?

Window @ St. Luke in the Fields, NYC
Psalms 38 * 119:25-48; Isaiah 6:1-13; 2 Thess 1:1-12; John 7:53-8:11

The Pharisees and the scribes try to trap Jesus today, by bringing a woman they say has been caught in the act of adultery...the law says she must be stoned to death...NOW what are you going to do about this Jesus!?! We can almost hear the glee in their voices: we've got him now! But they don't. 

No one knows what Jesus may have been writing on the ground. Many, much brighter than I, have written and opined. I don't think that is the point of the story. An interesting side-note perhaps, but not the point. Instead of judgement, instead of selfish, self-centered righteousness, instead of rigidity and certainty, Jesus points to a loving, forgiving, present God who gives us second chances...and third and fourth and more...

That's the point of the story...that we keep trying to get it right, although, in all likelihood, we never will get it perfectly right...It is not the perfection, it is the effort and the intent behind that effort. Is the intent for self-aggrandizement and ego-boosting appeal? Or are we trying to make ourselves more like the image of God? This God whose birth we are preparing for in 13 days. 

It is not our place to judge those who have made mistakes if we are judging for some other purpose than to correct inappropriate/misguided behavior. A large question posed by Jesus' actions today is: what is the purpose of judgement? Punishment? Or Rehabilitation?

We reach for perfection and fall short almost always. We are called to continue the reaching, with the intent behind the effort being the creation of the kingdom all around us. Nothing else really matters.

Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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