I got back from Big Camp yesterday after a great week. It was a very wet week with plenty of rain, but I still managed to get sunburnt on the one morning of sun. In the evening meetings, our speaker, Iki Taimi, presented a number of quality sermons. I’ll be sure to talk about them in the coming weeks. He presented his stuff in a great way and challenged us to step up to the ‘jump zone’ and take the leap.
Today I’ve got a post about the story at the beginning of John 8 – the woman caught in adultery and some photos from Mesa Verde, Colorado. I’ve also got a new section for you: Music. I’ll be recommending individual songs or albums every week, and linking you to them on iTunes. Another thing you may be interested in if you are interested in this blog: My Shared Items from Google Reader. Add this to your RSS feeds to see what I’m reading about and liking enough to share.
Caught in the Act
Apparently the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 does not appear in many of the early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. The early readers feared that this story of God’s grace and forgiveness could be used as a rationale for continuing numerous shameful acts. I can see their point. It seems it has turned that way after all. The grace of God has become an excuse for many, as they reason that forgiveness is easy to obtain. I think these people have missed the point of Christianity, grace, and the life of Christ Himself. I have already shared my thoughts on this a few weeks back in my first WordPress Weekly posts starting here so I won’t expand on this any further now.
This story, however, reveals Christ’s attitude to sin as well as us sinners. It does not excuse sin, but rather demonstrates that sin comes with condemnation, public humiliation and judgement. In the story, Jesus reminds us that no one is perfect, none of us have the right to condemn our neighbours. To us sinners, the narrative reassures us that we are forgiven, but we are also given a challenging commission to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NLT). We have all been rightly condemned, gracefully forgiven, and inspiringly challenged. Let’s not use God’s grace as an excuse any more. As Rebecca St. James sings in the song posted below, we need to be reminded that God will be leading and guiding as we go… and sin no more.
“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.'” — John 8:10,11 New Living Translation
“He said, ‘I will not condemn you,
I’ll forgive and I’ll forget it all.
Go and sin no more.
My child let me remind you
It is I who’ll lead and guide you as you go'” — Rebecca St. James ‘Go and Sin No More’
In this new section I’ll be recommending some music that I enjoy. I probably won’t be writing much of a review of them, as I don’t consider that a forte of mine. If you find that this is your type of music too, why not follow me on Ping, iTunes’ new social media platform for music. This weeks music comes from Rebecca St. James. She is an artist that I don’t have too much of, but this song is a good one and directly relates to my blogging above. Click on the album art or track title to find this song on the iTunes Store.
Title: Go and Sin No More
Artist: Rebecca St. James
Album: The Ultimate Collection
Weekly Photos – The Mystery of Mesa Verde
Mesa Verde National Park is the only national park in Colorado that we visited while on our epic road trip. We weren’t even in Colorado for a full 24 hours, but the visit to Mesa Verde was worth the Colorado detour. Inside the national park is a number of ruins from an old Indian civilisation. The mystery revolves around the location of these old cities. Most of the ruins found had been built under overhangs on the cliff faces. No one knows for sure why or how they did it, but our tour guide seemed to have some crazy ideas. Archeologists apparently change their ideas every 5 years or so. Anyway, just Google it if you want to learn more.
The first photo below is of the main cliff dwelling: Cliff Palace. This shows you the general idea of the place and and you can see a tour group for size relativity towards the right of the photo. The second photo was taken in another of the cliff dwellings, Balcony House. We took a tour through here and, although the tour guide was a little crazy, it was very interesting to see what was built way back in history and hypothesize on why they moved into the cliffs and why they left in such a hurry.