(based on John 8:1-11)
My imagination can grasp only so much at a time. It has trouble dealing with a peaceful scene that turns angry. I don't want people to be angry, but there are always trouble makers.
It is peaceful and quiet. Jesus has had his breakfast and goes to the temple courts. He is quickly surrounded by people wanting to hear him. Wanting to be near him. Can you see him sitting there, using his hands to make a point? Jesus was enjoying time to teach. When --
When he is interrupted by the teachers of the law and Pharisees who quickly point out "this woman" has been caught in adultery and they want to know exactly what Jesus is going to do about it.
This is where the scene goes from peaceful to angry. All those people who were listening to Jesus quickly find stones. They realized a good stoning was about to happen and they did not want to be left out. After all, the law says!
Yes, Jesus knows the law but instead of grabbing a stone, Jesus kneels down and writes in the dirt.
But they kept questioning him and he finally stood up and said, "So who here is perfect? Have any of you made it this far in life without committing a sin? If so, throw your stone."
Again Jesus knelt down and wrote on the ground. We have no idea what he wrote but we know what he heard.
Can you hear it? Listen. Oh, close your eyes and listen.
There! The first stone dropped. And then another. Another. Another. Another.
Now what my imagination sees is the person who dropped the first stone. The person who looked into their heart, into their life and realized they could not throw any stone.
IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU
Can you now hear and see those stones being dropped. All because one person was the first to let go.
It could happen to you. You could be the first person to let go.
I don't think it was easy to be the first. Think of the pressure. All those people standing around, with a stone which keeps getting heavier and heavier. Fingers getting tired of holding on. But no one wanting to be the first to throw their stone or be the first to let go.
What if you let go and everyone else went ahead and threw their stone? Then they would look at you wondering exactly what sin you were guilty of.
What if you threw your stone only to have everyone else drop theirs? That would be a bit awkward.
Besides those teachers of the law and the Pharisees were standing back there waiting and you knew if you didn't follow the law, you would get a chapter and verse lecture on stoning.
"But I am a sinner," you think. "Jesus is right. How do I throw a stone? If they knew my sins, I would be next."
Throw. Don't throw. Weigh your options. Throw. Don't throw.
Quietly you drop the stone. And turn and walk away.
Your hands hold stones and you have to choose. Do you throw a stone because their sin is bigger than yours? Do you throw a stone because you are too proud to let it drop? Do you throw a stone? Do you throw a stone?
Or do you drop the stone, turn and walk away?
Does someone have a chance to "go and sin no more" because you let go of your stone?