They walk in hand in hand. You don’t give it a second thought until you look a little closer and realize they are a same-sex couple. What do you do?
You thought you recognized the face. In fact, you are almost sure you were staring at it just this past week in the newspaper. Then it dawns on you! Of course. He/she was plastered across the front of the paper for a DWI.
The shame written across the face was evident. The downtrodden and down-looking eyes were another piece of evidence. Something about them said, “I don’t belong here. Please judge me so I can agree and never come back.” You realize they were in the paper for a child porn case.
The young woman can’t look you in the eye. You try to welcome her, but her guilt is too great. After all, what would you think if you knew she had just had an abortion? Or was a teenager who had had a sexual encounter and now the consequence is weighing on her. She is scum and everyone else will think so too.
All scenarios. But all scenarios that we probably have faced in the past or may face in the future. I gotta tell you, in all honesty, I would not have given a rip about these people several years ago. I could preach God would forgive, but that didn’t mean I had to have a part in it. Plainly put, I was a Pharisee. Lock, stock, and barrel.
I’m not going to presume how you would handle these or similar situations. As a pastor I have a unique view of things in many ways. That was how I got to be a Pharisee. But you can’t be one when God
slaps slams you upside the head with a 2×4. Slam He did and it was not a pretty sight.
I’ve been reading Mud and the Masterpiece by John Burke. WOW!! I’m hooked! It’s not the first time John has done that. Later on that. Read this passage please. Substitute the above examples in the place of the woman. Jesus’ response would have been what? While the above examples are mine, the reference to Luke 7 that I am about to give is John’s.
Jesus looks beyond the mud to the masterpiece this woman is. He doesn’t ignore her sin (“Go and sin no more”), but His parable shows the debt she (and the Pharisees) owe could not be paid. John makes this statement:
The reason I believe Jesus wants His followers to be unshockable has nothing to do with hating sin or not hating sin. It has to do with seeing sin for what it is-it’s foreign matter. Sin is not our true identity-that’s the whole problem. We need to help people identify with God’s image in them. (The masterpiece under the mud-my note)
That is not sugarcoating sin. It is about not allowing it to be their/my identity. This post is getting long so I will continue it later this week. Till then, what are your thoughts? How would you react to the above scenarios? And if you get a chance, please listen to this.