Solutions June 2018 - Page 34

first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, beginning with the older ones, her accusers begin to turn away. And then comes the moment of beautiful grace we’re all familiar with. Jesus turns to her and says, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She responds, “No one, sir.” And He says, “Then neither do I condemn you.” and in the lives of others, and He has much better things in store. Do you see this? This call is an invitation t o m o re , a n d i t ’s b re a t h t a k i n g l y BEAUTIFUL. You see, Jesus loves us where we are but he never leaves us where we are. He calls us into life. What an amazing embodiment of love and grace and beauty all wrapped up into this potent moment. The God of eternity reached down into the dust of our existence and transformed it with a single touch. But if Jesus had the attitude of most churches today, that’s where the story would end. Thankfully, it doesn’t. His love for us extends well beyond that. As beautiful as the words “then neither do I condemn you” are, His next words are equally charged with grace, love, and truth. He tells her, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Why? Because He knows she’s been looking for life in places she can’t find it. Because He knows she’s been trying to drink from cracked, dry cisterns that can’t touch her thirst for more. Because He sees the broken ways of living she’s embraced and is inviting her to leave them behind. Because His desire for her is that she run fully in the identity He created her for, and He knows she’s been living far below it. He sees the pain her choices have caused in her life 34 • Solutions My question is, as a church, are we doing the same? When I look at the body of Christ at large, we are eerily silent on so many things that are wreaking havoc in people’s lives—things like same-sex attraction, hypocrisy, gossip, self- identification, slander, moral relativism, gender confusion, greed, abortion, pornography, and more. Is this what truly loving people equates to—silence? Would we rather risk leaving someone in bondage and shame than saying something in love that may temporarily offend or discomfort them? Have we confused loving people unconditionally with blindly approving of their actions? Do we believe God’s Word still speaks to these things? It is not God’s Word that is silent on the controversial topics of our day—it’s us. And the hard truth is