To live out God’s priority for those facing poverty and seek the full life God has for each person and neighbourhood.
Wait: Play the following video from “The Passion” showing Jesus drawing a line in the sand and soak in what it was that Jesus did that day in the passage we are about to read and allow space for God to speak.
Read: John 8:1-11
Reflection: There was a time when reading this passage I would have only looked at it being about adultery and the sin of the woman and while I don’t deny that this passage does refer to this I sense it is aimed at the judgement and hypocrisy of those throwing the stones. How many times do we place judgement on others and yet our own lives are full of sin and brokenness? Jesus flipped things upside down when he stood on the side of the adulterous woman, drawing a line in the sand, calling to those without sin to be the ones to throw the first stones. This was radical and subversive in Jesus time and I think it is still for us now.
- How is this good news for us and our neighbours?
Pray: Prayers of confession and repentance. Let’s lay our stones down at the foot of the cross as we confess our own sin, judgement, and brokenness that we may experience true grace like the woman in John 8.
Wait: Light a candle and as you watch the flame’s light bringing warmth to the darkness take time to sit in silence together, allowing space for God to remind us he is the light of the world.
Read: John 8:12-20
- What stands out in this passage?
Song: Play “Oh How I Need You” by All Sons and Daughters as you come to a time of communion
Pray: For our neighbourhoods that the Light of the World would bring life and hope, breaking through the darkness of poverty.
Wait: Take a few moments to sit in silence and rest in God’s presence then open with this prayer from the Order of Carmelites:
Our saving, merciful God,
wandering in our deserts
of injustice and lack of love, we cry out with fear
or are stunned into silence,
some into doubt or despair.
Give us enough trusting faith
to look up to him
who took our evil and doubts upon himself,
suffered for them on a cross, and rose from them,
Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our Lord.
Read: John 8:21-30 as a Lectio Divina
Pray: The Lord’s Prayer together.
You may find this Lectio Divina reflection interesting if you want to go further: http://www.ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/lectio-divina-john-821-30
Wait: Listen to the following song as you come with hearts to worship Jesus “I Am Set Free” – by All Sons & Daughters
Read: John 8:31-47
Reflection: Jesus’ critique of his opponents here reaches its clearest expression, revolving around the theme of Abraham’s children. Jesus makes it clear that they do not have the freedom they claim as children of Abraham nor do they reveal the characteristics of the children of Abraham. Instead, their attitudes and actions reveal that they are really children of the devil (v. 44). This is the deepest glimpse into the heart of his opponents, and it occurs in the context of Jesus’ clearest revelation of his own identity. He is the unique Son of God who can use the divine I AM of himself, even though he is also distinct from God. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/John/Jesus-Clearly-Reveals-Both
- What is the challenge to us in this passage?
Pray: Our grace this week is “To live out God’s priority for those facing poverty and seek the full life God has for each person and neighbourhood”, pray into this as a team.