My wife, Kelly Jannett, is a wonderful wife and mother. She follows along with the Moravian Daily Texts as a form of daily devotion. Today, she shares these thoughts…of which I am very pleased and proud to post here:
DRAWING A LINE
I know, however, that in reading scripture, current events, life experiences, and various contexts can change how you view the same scripture differently at different points throughout your life.
For instance, Psalm 23, “He sets up a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” In third grade, my enemies may have been Tiffany and her clique and the mean boy down the street. In high school, they included Richie and the girls Clay Cook sings about in his song “Smoke Rise.” When I got to college my enemies were rival schools, and the divas who were vocal *performance* majors, and therefore much superior to the vocal *education* major I was. And now, as a wife and parent, my enemies include anyone or anything that would bring harm to my children or spouse. Hence, my personal interpretation of Psalm 23 has varied throughout my life.
So, this year as I read the Gospel of John while following the Moravian daily text suggested readings, the Gospel has spoken to me in a new and different way. Let’s start with John 3:17, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
When I read this a few weeks ago, it struck me: if God did not give Jesus the authority to condemn others, then how can any of us think that we have the authority to do so? And yet I see it time and time again; I am guilty of it so often myself. I am not talking about pointing out the sin of another in private, which we are instructed to do (after we remove the log from our own eye), I’m talking about condemnation. Putting others down in the public eye. Publicly calling out or shunning or spreading rumors or gossip in order to raise ourselves up and/or put others “in their place.”
And then today (sorry, I read ahead), John 8:10 & 11 is the conclusion of the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”
Here the author of the Gospel of John reiterates the point of Jesus’ role on earth not to be one of a condemning ruler. No one was able to cast stones at this woman, because not one person in the crowd was without sin, except Jesus. But what does he do? Writes on the ground.
Stop casting stones at those who think differently from you, who look different than you, who believe different beliefs, who live their lives in a different way. Because not only is it true that Love is Love is Love is Love….but it is even more true that God is Love, and we are called to share God’s Love with ALL those around us.
So put down your stones, and go buy yourself some sidewalk chalk instead!