Do you know what? Have you ever really thought about this How do you see God. Is God a man, a woman, a ball of fire or smoke, or a strong wind? Is He that Wizard of Oz type looking character? Well, regardless of how we personally view God, it really doesn’t matter because God IS taking care of you! And God IS taking care of me! Have you ever really thought about that? I get excited as my life unfolds, sometimes without any conscious action on my part, except to let God lead me and let it happen. I often think that if I just get out of the way, I can develop, grow, and change for the better.. Let God be your pilot and you be the co-pilot. Don’t jump in that pilot’s seat. Your navigation will be way off course if God is not your pilot.
Here is a prayer we can share as we study this message. We ask God to take full charge of this experience.
“Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me. Have Thy way in my thoughts, my actions, my feelings, and in my decisions. Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me.
Dear God, right now we are each open and receptive, knowing that this is a spiritual experience, in which we each are being lifted to a higher level of life. Have Your way in each of us. In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.”
Let’s look at John 8: 1 – 11(RSV)
“They went each to his own house, 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 sin no more.’
Looking into this story we see a group of men who are so anxious to condemn (Pharisees and scribes) that they are probably twitching with excitement waiting to begin throwing the stone in their hand. These men may be popular in the citizenry but to their high position, but they are not honored at all in the eyes of God because their hearts are unforgiving and tyrannical.
Then there is the adulteress. This is the woman who is about to be stoned. She was caught in the act of adultry – as was the man of whom we know nothing. She knew she would be put to death, and she was about to be. And then Jesus Christ showed up in her life. Now we have a hopeful situation; and regardless of the hopelessness, there now is hope through the love and power of Jesus Christ.
The other character in this story is Jesus Christ. Jesus faced three dilemmas. The first one being the Mosaic Law: should He allow them to stone her? Second, should He tell them to let her go? Or third, should He ignore the situation and walk away, to save His own skin?
Remember, He knelt down and began writing on the ground with his finger. There are many opinions and points of view about this act. What was he doing? Why did he kneel down and write on the ground. Was He praying, was He trying to figure out what to do? Perhaps in the sand, he was scribbling the sins these men had committed. We do not know, but we do know that He wanted to put a spiritual focus on the situation that would not deny but override the Mosaic teachings.
Literally, adultery means relations outside of marriage – the physical experience only. It cheapens and creates a hollow emotion within a life and experience.. Spiritually, adultery means to have mixed thoughts or errors in feelings that do not come under the dominion of God.
“I don’t have to like you. I’m in a relationship with you, so this is what you have to do. You promised you would be with me, so this is what you have to do.” It really has nothing much to do with how I feel about you and myself. That can be adultery. It is cheating on expressing the love of God. If we do not behold the love of God in ourselves and that individual in your relationship, that can be adultery.
I think we can contain each of these realities within ourselves. We have the love. We have the intellect, we have the law. Of course, the woman would represent the love emotion/the heart. The men would be the intellectual aspect. That is what is within you and me. We have the love and we have the intellect. These two must work together within us. When the intellect works without the love/the heart, only trouble and unhappiness result.
Now the men/the intellect were condemning. So when we are so full of knowledge and intellect – who are we condemning? We are condemning ourselves. We just don’t go there, and the first stone is never cast.
I love the way Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast the stone.” In other words, He was saying that if you want to kill this person, admit that you never made a mistake. I tell you, if you are ready to condemn another, even yourself, you first have to attest to the fact that you are perfect, that you never made a mistake.
You are all three of these characters. I am all three of these characters. We do not need to take one moment of time condemning any part of someone or ourself. Condemnation is not part of our spiritual life. We heal within and the problem disappears as we embrace Christ’s love. Then we each become a whole, complete person.
When we go into prayer and ask for forgiveness, the solutions will follow. We can repent and change. When we do this a whole new life opens to that energy, power, love that is Christ within us and gives us the ability to change and to move forward. Christ never condemns us. He is always there to create a positive situation. When you turn to God, you will find it, and it will be whole.
We all have discontentment at times in our life, when we know things just are not quite right. We know that we have to make a change. “There is something higher, something different, something better.” You can’t deal with it with logic. “You have to let go and let God.” We try to change the view or the prompting that God has given us.
First, at this time, God is coming to you to let you know that there IS something better, something beyond that is right there waiting.
Secondly, go within and ask for guidance. Don’t fight it; don’t ignore it, don’t blame something else for it. Be still, relax, let things work out while at peace. Let our Lord bring the Divine guidance and the Divine answer.
The third part or step is the most powerful and most freeing. Jesus said: “Go and sin no more.” Don’t do it again; don’t think or say it again. Allow yourself to be redirected; move forward; don’t stop and get stuck in the quagmire of life. If you experience Divine discontent, go within and ask for guidance. Once you get that guidance, go into action and go forward.”
A young woman, 95 years of age who didn’t have much formal education, but instead had an abundance of Divine wisdom once said, “Don’t you know that if you accept it, it won’t hurt so bad?”
Life change is what is unfolding in us right now. God IS taking care of us.
Enjoy the journey!
Let us pray:
Lord, help us to go within and seek that guidance of Divine Love you bring to each of us. Thank You for our life and our new life and giving us the courage and desire to enjoy our journey with you.
In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen
God bless you!