John 8:1-11: Throwing Stones – Part III
What tax or tithe do we surrender when we give in to the temptation to throw stones?
Hate crimes. What are they? How do they affect us? Why does society worry about hate that flourishes among us to stalks the innocent?
Swarms of people came to Jesus. He sat down and taught them.
Societies might ignore the hate that simmers beneath the surface or they may ignore the anger that erupts into the open. They may even covertly or overtly encourage division for whatever reason governs their thinking.
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone.
Crimes that spring from hatred of “the other” also spring from the teaching that we must divide and categorize ourselves, and that some of us deserve more and less than others for reasons laid out by a controlling few.
They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him. “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.”
With hatred, a majority often dictates to a minority. Often the crime of hatred is nurtured by harbored thoughts of inadequacy and/or resentment. With hatred, we must take our division to Christ to ask for healing.
Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone.
At times we are the condemned woman, at times we are the hypocritical accusers, at times we are innocent victims of the unjust. In all cases we must respond as Jesus responds: Does no one condemn you? Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.
Throwing stones is a dangerous temptation. Throwing stones puts us in ambiguous positions. Throwing stones nurtures division and does not encourage understanding or inclusion. Today we reflect on the problem of hate crimes as we determine to pray and work for an end to this violence.
For information on hate crimes visit the United States National Crime Prevention Council site at: http://www.ncpc.org/topics/hate-crime or to understand what action we might take to take on the hatred among us, click on the image or visit: https://www.accesscommunity.org/news/community-stories/2015/02/18/hate-crimes-are-rise-what-can-we-do-takeonhate