What Kind of Rock do we Like?

April 7, 2019

In the scientific community the groupings of different kinds of rock fall into three major categories.  They are igneous rock, metamorphic rock and sedimentary rock.  These three are formed differently.  Igneous rock is born of fire.  It is mainly volcanic and is heat pressurized.  Sedimentary rock is formed over years of pressure from above and its layers usually tell a story.  Metamorphic rock has a history of change.  It has gone through a metamorphosis in its creation.  So the question remains, what type of stone or rock do we prefer?   In the Gospel they bring a woman before Jesus and put her in the middle of a group.  All eyes are upon her.  She has been caught in the sin of adultery.  She is by law to be stoned.  The crowd is ready to execute the law.  What kind of stone did each one gathered prefer?  Did they judge this woman out of their anger?  Did sin bring out the rage within them?  That would tend to be igneous in nature.  Did some feel the wrong as a slow burn of all the sins of society?  Did they feel that layers of sin are found in what is made public?  Did they feel this wasn’t a onetime event and that the woman certainly must have done a lot of wrong to be caught in this one sin?  Their response might be a result of their feelings toward layers of sin that they would end by using their stones.  This is sedimentary in nature.  The last type of stone is probably the most worrisome.  Did those who had metamorphic rock change their opinion as the crowd gathered?  Did they come out for one reason, to be a part of the crowd?  Were they upset about the sin of not being there, instead of what really happened in the life of the woman?  Did their opinions change as time went on, yet to let go of the stone or rock would make them feel left out and being a part of the stoning was better than not?  Those who prefer the rocks of change are most dangerous.  They usually move with the crowd and have no conscience of their own.  Whatever seems popular in the moment changes the use of what and why they would throw a stone.

In the end God intervenes.  Jesus begins to write in the sand that is surrounding the woman.  No one knows what was written, although many speculate.  One by one the crowd disperses.  Jesus has the power to free us from the stones we would like to throw at others.  He can release us from the pain that has brewed over the ages and those in the sediments of our hearts.  Jesus had the power to free those fired up with raw anger, who justified every action as retaliation of the law and used the law as a hammer and weapon.  Those with igneous rock put down their weapons, too.  He calmed the fire within them.  Jesus had the power to take those who followed the crowd and change their ways.  They were able to find a new path and drop their weapons.  The disabling of all those gathered for the stoning meant that what He wrote was deeper than what the crowd was saying.

The power of this experience is one of the disarming forgiveness and love Jesus has for us.  He tells the woman He does not condemn her and to go and sin no more.  No matter what stone we like to throw at others, and there are all kinds of reasons why we would, Jesus has given us the one powerful reason not to.  His love is deeper than the stones we prefer.  His love is deeper than any weapon we want to use on each other.  No matter if our stone carries our own hurts from years of pain, no matter if we don’t even know why we want to throw a stone, Jesus disarms us.  Love conquers sin; good overcomes evil.  Pick your favorite stone and bring it to Jesus; He will give you a reason to drop it.  He will heal you completely

Reverend  John J. Ouper