As we enter the season of Lent, I’m both nervous and excited as I pray earnestly for God to reveal my sin to me. I want to spend the next 40 days deepening my understanding of what it is that caused Jesus to be rejected by his Father, and the huge role I played in that.
I am far too good at justifying my sin. I am far too good at making righteous lists of what is right and what is wrong and always putting myself in the “right” category.
A couple of weeks ago I was reading John chapter 8, where a woman caught in the act of adultery is brought before Jesus. There is a crowd around them, ready to stone the woman. You probably know the story. Jesus bends down and starts writing in the dirt. He stands and says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” He stoops again and resumes his writing. One by one, “beginning with the older ones,” the accusers leave. Jesus stands up to find only the woman standing there. “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” This woman has a truly amazing story of rescue. She has a distinct life before and after meeting Jesus. In some ways, I envy her.
As I read this story again, I was struck with this realization: were I a person in the crowd, I would not have been one of the first to drop my stone and walk home. I would have stood there, looking at that woman in disgust and contempt, clenching that stone and waiting for the opportunity to let all of my righteous indignation fly at her. I might have tried to catch Jesus’s eyes and communicate with my own, “Some people, eh, Jesus?” At some point I would have realized that everyone else was leaving, so I had better go, too.
You see, my name is Keely and I am a Pharisee…
Read the rest of this post at my church’s blog at City Pres OKC.