Monday, September 15, 2008

Stones, Sinners, Crosses

One day a group of men, who loved their version of God's truth more than God or people, drug a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. They did it to prove themselves right and Jesus wrong, having no care at all for the woman. They wanted to trap Jesus into either violating Moses' law or Roman law. If Jesus agreed with Moses' law and told them to stone her, he would be in trouble with Rome, who reserved the death penalty for itself. If Jesus said they could not stone her because of Ceasar, they would have him for blaspheming Moses' law. They had the woman in one hand, stones to kill her in the other, and no room for God in their hearts. Jesus sprung their trap. He said they were free to stone her, and that any one of them who had no sin should feel free to cast the first stone. They dropped their stones.

I hate making more than one trip, so I load up my arms with everything I can carry, usually dropping something along the way. It is impossible to carry a stone, a sinner, and the cross. We will have dropped the cross. Without the cross, there is no love in our hearts. All our truth will be absent of love. Dorothy Day (anarchist turned Catholic) wrote, "I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least." John the apostle wrote, "We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?"

The cross, above all else, is a constant reminder that we will forever be sinners who desperately require grace. No sinner who knows and believes this, can ever comfortably carry a stone for long, nor can he carry the cross without desiring to carry a sinner to Jesus - not for condemnation, but for forgiveness and freedom from sin.