Sunday, August 3, 2008

Casting the first stone

I've continued to reflect upon the place of judgement in social service delivery and the more I think about it, the less confident I am becoming that I will ever be able to work out anything satisfactory. However, today when I spoke about the story of the woman caught in adultery from the eighth chapter of John's gospel, I noticed something new.

I have always loved this story. Not just for the wonderful grace shown by Jesus, but also the way he reveals the hypocrisy of the Pharisees - and the temptation to judge that we all face.

"Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone"

Perhaps it's a sign of my own aging, but I noticed today that when this challenge was thrown out it was the eldest who left first. Maybe a sign of real maturity is the recognition of our common sense of failure before God. Who are we to judge each other?

I'm not so naive that I don't recognise that judgements do, and in fact must, occur every day in all sorts of situations. May God grant us wisdom and humility when faced with the task of judging others.

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