I’ve always wondered about that stoning thing in the Bible. I mean, how did it actually work? It doesn’t seem realistic that a person would just stand there and wait for the rocks to pummel them. Wouldn’t they try to run away? Would the stoners have to get a couple of big guys to hold onto the stonee? If so, then how did they avoid injury?
Going to church all my life, I’ve probably heard twenty sermons about the woman caught in “the act” and brought before Jesus to be stoned. Preachers tended to skip over the adultery part though and just focus on Jesus doodling in the dirt with his finger. The more daring ones might have speculated on what He could have written. Details of the accusers’ sins? Perhaps a list of the ones who had enjoyed this woman’s pleasures themselves? Their near-carnal hypothesizing tended to diminish the interaction between Jesus and the woman, yet that’s where I find a real treasure. It’s a story of forgiveness and love – love in action.The kind that extends beyond saying the right words to a practical, make-a-difference kind of love. Continue reading
Last Friday afternoon I was tearing around the house like a bat out of hell, tossing things in a suitcase helter-skelter and keeping one eye on the clock. I had an appointment with God in western Tennessee. In a moment of weakness, I’d signed up for a guided silent retreat at a convent somewhere on the way to Memphis. All I knew is that it was two and a half hours from Franklin and it didn’t take second grade math to figure out that I was leaving too late to arrive on time. Sigh! Not the best way to begin my weekend of retreat from manic modernity to silent listening.
Welcome to my world. Too much to do – good things, most of them – and simply not enough time to get them done. Was I nuts to waste two perfectly good days doingnothing? It made no sense (or maybe all the sense in the world) to intentionally carve out forty-eight hours – three days really – of a precious weekend to go away and just be still. That is, to shut up and listen to God. Continue reading
I don’t go to the mall much. It’s not that I don’t enjoy shopping for Free People Anthropologie Uggs and massage gift certificates, (yes, dear this is a hint) but maybe like yours, our disposable income is a little harder to come by this year and honestly we’ve accumulated enough stuff over the past two decades to warrant a break from buying more of it. So the last time I really hit the mall was October sometime. The Mister and I were there for a big Friday night out with our girls. (Read: no good movies to be found and we couldn’t come up with anything more exciting to do.)
We opted for fine dining at the food court, a bit of strolling and a pleasant but firm no thank you to the Chinese massage guys in the red shirts before a final stop at Auntie Anne’s. As we headed down the hallway we couldn’t help noticing that the holiday decorations were already coming out, shiny big red Christmas balls hanging from the ceiling and press-on window decals proclaiming Share the Season! Give Heaps Get Happy! Lowest Prices of the Holiday Season! There was piped-in music pointing out that it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (No, it wasn’t.) Just a whole big bunch of tacky reminders that retailers were breathlessly awaiting the arrival of their holiest day of the year, Black Friday. Continue reading
Yesterday was Easter. It was just the second Sunday to be in our new church building; we’ve been meeting in an elementary school for almost six years. (Sitting on hard metal folding chairs. Oh, my aching back & butt.)
As usual, our pastor had a unique twist on a passage that I’ve heard about a million sermons on. My main take-away was that even if we’re not doing the very best job possible in searching for Jesus, if we are making the effort to find Him, He will not scold us for ‘not being good enough’.
Then it was time for the Eucharist. Peanut was sitting next to me; she always looks forward to taking Communion. I remember being six and eight years old and begging my parents to let me have a bread crumb and little glass of watered-down Welch’s. But I wasn’t allowed, because at that point I had not been baptized, and baptism had to be checked off the list first before you were “approved” to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Since I was too scared to face getting dunked in front of a bunch of people, I was denied my wish. Continue reading