Who is Condemned?
“But when they continued asking Him, He straightened up and said to them, ‘Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So He was left alone with the woman before Him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She replied, ‘No one, sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.’” (John 8.7-11)
Beneath the wrath of judgement passed
Bewildered heart ponders her fate:
Will mistrust and suspicion last?
Should the condemned reciprocate?
Accusers stood with stones in hand;
She cowered ‘neath the cold stone looks.
He wrote her sins down in the sand,
Erasing them from heaven’s books.
He cast their hearts with words to quell:
“Let one sinless cast the first stone.”
By self-knowledge, their judgements fell,
And, one by one, they left alone.
“No one condemns? Neither do I.
Go, and from now, don’t sin again.”
Mercy answered the condemned’s cry:
To rescue, forgive, and sustain.
Mercy forgives the transgression;
Judgement hardens the heart to stone.
Mistrust, enforced with suspicion,
Cannot serve God for love alone.
Consider the sinner a friend;
A judge is already condemned.
Lord, may the judgements in my heart fall to the ground like the accusers’ stones and may my sins be written in the sand so that I may be readied to forgive and to be forgiven. Amen.
(c) Paul Buis, 2007