LENT: 40 Days with Jesus

Jesus was in the temple courts, proclaiming "I AM!" The religious folks decided to test him. "Let's find us a sinner who's guilty as sin! Let's see what Jesus does with the ugliness of sin!"
One guy put up his hand. "I know where to find a real sinner! I know just where she'll be this time of day!" Reckon how he knew? 
So they grabbed her, spewing all the invectives that men save for a woman they call Sinner. They pushed and kicked her through the streets, until she stood before Jesus. They accused her of adultery. Somehow, she managed to commit the crime all by herself. So there she stood, alone.
Have you ever been pushed forward to take the fall for others? Have you ever been condemned while others walked away?
There she stood before him, trembling. And Jesus--sat down and started doodling in the dust... as if nothing was going on at all.
So they shouted again. What are you going to do with the Sinner?
They came carrying rocks, ready to hurl at her. She was guilty of BIG SIN. But they came carrying little rocks in their pockets. These were the little sins; too small for anyone else to notice. Unconfessed and unrepented, they were such small stones that no one could tell they were there. Not like the BIG SINS of others.
So Jesus looked up and answered them. OK. Kill her. 
Wait. Back the truck up. What?
Go ahead. Take her out. Throw your stones. But be sure your hands are clean before you pick up a rock for her. And he went back to doodling. 
Now I'm not sure what Jesus was writing in the dust. But in my imagination, I see him naming all those little rocks hidden deep in their pockets. Lust. Hate. Envy. Cowardice. Cursing. Violence. He had a lot to write in the dust.
One by one, they dropped their big rocks--the ones they carried for her--and shuffled off, carrying only the ones they bore in secret.
In this Lenten season, you are invited to examine the rocks you carry. The way we tend to decide which sins are little and which ones are SINS is simple: my sins are small and unnoticeable. Other people commit big SINS. In my anger and fear I feel justified for casting stones at the SINNERS. Surely, no one can tell that I'm a sinner. 
What rocks are you carrying? 
Doesn't it get exhausting to carry them?
Today someone is going to make you angry. You're going to want to cast a stone at them. Put your hand in your pocket and feel the stones you are carrying. Only God can condemn. Does God really need you to cast one of those stones in His name?
Perhaps you will want to go where no one can see and throw that stone away. Perhaps you'll want to confess to the one before you, and offer that rock as a sign of peace. Perhaps you're ready to empty your pockets for good. Or perhaps you want to find others who are accused and pushed forward, condemned to stand alone, and tell them that you're dropping all your rocks for good.
Only God can condemn, but all of God's children have been authorized to forgive in God's name.
Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return. Repent, and believe the Gospel.

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