Friday, January 25, 2013
END OF CONVERSATION
Lines in the Sand, Wrightsville Beach, NC
When one of our most capable American presidents was confronted with the slippery question of whether God sided with the Union or the Confederacy on the contentious issue of slavery and civil war, he famously replied, “My concern is not whether God is on my side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right”. Lincoln deftly side stepped the question, but responded with an answer that was beyond rebuttal. End of conversation.
The Pharisees brought a woman accused of adultery to Jesus in an attempt to trap and accuse him of violating either their Mosaic law or the ruling Roman law. If he told them to stone her he would have violated Roman law which forbade the oppressed people to execute anyone. If he told them to let her go he would have violated their own Law of Moses. Instead of providing a direct answer that would be a problem either way, Jesus said nothing initially, but simply bent down and began moving his finger in the sand. It is not revealed just what he was writing, but one plausible theory is the sins of the men trying to trap him. Or perhaps it was simply random lines in the sand, giving pause for clearer heads to prevail. Then Jesus matter-of-factly said, without directly answering their question, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”. And they all slowly began to do the right thing by dropping their stones and drifting away, from oldest to youngest, for all have sinned. Age and experience are generally more aware of human shortcomings than youthful self-righteousness. End of conversation.
Perhaps our elected representatives in government could use these models of human behavior to end the polarity that constrains our nation so that doing the right thing could prevail for all. End of conversation.