Forgiving in Love
What does it mean to be sinful? Google gives the definition of "an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law". There are many things that can fall into this category, but what is the reasoning behind our sinful nature? God loved us so much that he gave us free will to choose, to work towards the choice of being good and seeking God. The phrase "I'm only human" tends to be used quite often in our world, because we recognize that being human, we are not perfect and tend to fall from time to time. If we all realize that we are sinful, then why is it so easy to judge our neighbour when they fall?
Today's Gospel states: 'but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again"' (John 8:1-11).
This is one of my favourite passages in scripture and I actually had the opportunity to write a paper on it in my first year of university. The Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus by bringing the woman, as their laws state she is to be stoned. We never find out what Jesus wrote in the sand, but it's possible he opened their eyes to their sins. Jesus doesn't ask to see the man too, but asks the woman if she is sorry for her sin. She confesses and is repentant and Jesus forgives her. Jesus tells the men that anyone without sin can cast the first stone. Jesus, being born divine and pure, could have done this, but he shows us another way. We must remember our own sins, repent and God will forgive us. As God forgives us, we must also do the same for our neighbour, and act out of love.Jesus came to call all people to him, especially the sinners.This story of the woman caught in adultery and brought to Jesus helps us to realize all people of the past, present and future world are equals with each other because of sin, and by accepting God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice, we are liberated and cleansed to go forward and sin no more.
Today's prayer comes from 'Lords prayer words' a prayer for forgiveness:
Lord, I'm in that place again On my knees Laying my life out before You Thank you that on the cross you cried "It is finished" You have done it Forgiveness is complete I can live forever in Your grace Forever in Your love So I ask now for Your forgiveness For the wrongs that I have done And the things that I have neglected I ask for Your forgiveness For the people I have hurt along the way And those who I have failed to love as You love I ask for Your forgiveness I receive Your forgiveness And resolve in my heart That with Your strength I determine not to make these errors again I receive Your forgiveness And by the power of Your Holy Spirit I walk away from everything I know to be wrong And embrace everything I know about You For the kingdom, the power and the glory Are always and forever Yours Amen