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Is that a rock in your hand?

Pastor's corner

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POSTED: January 31, 2011 9:10 a.m.

Our society seems to like people being exposed. Television shows and tabloids grow as they parade the darkest sins of people in front of us.
We seem to like finding fault in others because it takes our minds off our own problems. It may be that we find delight in the struggles of other people. I guess that is why shows like Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil, and Judge Judy have increased in popularity.
I am reminded of an encounter with Jesus by a woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8. The townspeople dragged the woman before Christ. They brought rocks with them to stone her to death. “She will get her just rewards!”
The mob expected Jesus to think like them. We are just like that mob.
Is that a rock in your hand? Many people in the Christian Church claim to be redeemed, but we are carrying rocks ready to pounce on anyone who is not like us or agree with us.
We look for fault in our church members who are serving God alongside us and in the pastors appointed by God to lead us.
What did Jesus do? He heard the accusations. He did not argue guilt or innocence. He knew what the Mosaic Law said. He saw the rocks in the crowds’ hands.
Jesus squatted down and scribbled with his finger in dirt. I can imagine the folks started to complain and demanded judgment. They wanted somebody else to handle their dirty work. Jesus then stood and said, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.”
After a few minutes, there was no one left except the accused woman and Jesus.
Where can sinners go when they are weak, wounded and sad, if it is not to the church where people are to minister to them in the name of Christ. Liars find truth. Drunks discover new wine. The weak are empowered with strength. The wounded enjoy healing. The sad obtain joy. The sinner embraces salvation. 
Apostle Paul reminds us that all people have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. The angels declared that Jesus came to save us from our sins. Jesus can transform our lives if we let Him. It is in the church that we are able to experience this transformation for the better. Therefore, the church is no place for rocks. It is a house of mercy, compassion and prayer.
We may not come to the church on the same path or be looking for the same things, but all of us came with sinful dirt in our lives. We came to be washed clean by Jesus Christ.
Is that a rock in hand? I pray that you will look in the mirror. The problem in the Christian Church is not with other people, but with you and I. Jesus came to transform our thinking so we can deal with our shortfalls in a loving manner, not in a condemning way.
Jesus said, “Where are your accusers? There is no one here to condemn you. Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” These words are being said to us. Is that rock in hand?

Wright is the senior pastor of Hinesville First United Methodist Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.

 

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