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Published 8-06-10


Book of John, John Bunyan, Kahlil Gibran, Mary Roberts Rinehart


Dear Readers,

The Biblical story of the woman caught in the act of adultery:
a story of self-
examination illumined by compassion's bright light. Jesus is confronted by men
with what is purported to be Jewish law - this sinful woman must be stoned to death.
But was that the law?  Firstly, Deuteronomy 22:22-24 states that in such cases, both
transgressors were to be stoned and not just the woman; and secondly, only after a
careful trial. It seems the men are being hypocritical in an attempt to trap Jesus. But
rather than agree or disagree with them, he instead forces them to confront their own
impurity. As each one does, he quietly slips away until no one is left to cast the first
stone and Jesus alone is with the frightened woman. She, too, has been forced to face
her sins and he knows it. Her longing to cleanse herself is recognized by Jesus. He
does not condemn her. He grants forgiveness, but adds two commands: "Go,"
(move on and forgive yourself) "and do not sin again," (be healed).

If we are honest with ourselves we are less likely to cast stones at others;
only when we truly repent of our own sins are we in the position to be
forgiven; compassion and forgiveness flow infinitely from God.

- Lisa

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cross at San Juan Capistrano
Photo by Stephen Bowman   All rights reserved
San Juan Capistrano Mission, California

Early in the morning (Jesus) came again to the temple;
all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught
them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the
midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been
caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses com-
manded us to stone such. What do you say about her?"
This they said to test him, that they might have
some charge to bring against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said
to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the
first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent
down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

But when they heard it, they went away, one by one,
beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone
with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked
up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? has
no one condemned you?" And she said, "No one,
Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn
you; go, and do not sin again."

John 8:2-11
The Holy Bible
Revised Standard Edition



No child of God sins to the degree as to
make himself incapable of forgiveness.

John Bunyan (1628-1688)
English minister and author of "Pilgrim's Progress"


The chemist who can extract from his heart's elements
compassion, regret, surprise, and forgiveness and compound
them into one can create that atom which is called love.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
Lebanese-born American philosopher and poet

The Last Word:

God pardons like a mother, who kisses
the offense into everlasting forgiveness.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)
Congregationalist clergyman, abolitionist






























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

To be kind to all, to like many and love a few,
to be needed and wanted by those we love, is
certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.

Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)
American novelist and playwright


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
a multi-faith Web site.
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