I am in the throes of a chapter that I woke in the middle of the night to add to my manuscript. I am exhausted from thinking. The chapter is about Eve. From the garden. I have questions, and I am sad about the state of the world. I won’t divulge the contents of this chapter, but it has me asking a million questions. Questions that won’t fit into this chapter. Or this blog.
And I don’t want you to answer. I am on a quest of my own. Comment, bark, fight, do whatever you please. I am writing this for myself more than anyone. I am scheduling this in my calendar and bookmarking it. Come back in a year. If we haven’t been our own undoing, if ISIS hasn’t been our undoing, if… whatever, I want to come back and read this.
You don’t know.
You have student loans to break the bank. You have a way with words. You need to lose 60 pounds. You are out of paper towels. Paris is under attack. And you don’t know much of anything else. Do you know what is on a Starbucks cup? Because you were supposed to stop drinking coffee. Did you? I didn’t think so. Also, did you go and sin no more?
I saw that scripture right before I went to bed. As I closed my Facebook app, I saw this as a post: “Jesus said, ‘Go and sin no more…’” With a picture of the French flag. Later I woke with a pounding head, and I remembered this. And I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t turn my pounding head off, so I began to write. I googled this scripture reference and got this: In John 5
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
I have used the one liner, “Go and sin no more.” But I never follow it with, “Or else.” And I love scripture. And I believe it is the voice of GOD. And He has met me with His Word on the floor of my bathroom in a heap of tears with an empty bag of gummy worms and a half drunk glass of chardonnay. And I can’t recall whole huge passages, but I can remember snippets that have gotten me up off the floor, helped me reapply my make-up, put the chardonnay away, hidden the empty bag and gone to finish making breakfast.
So I profess I am a seeker of Christ. I profess I am a sinner. I profess great sadness. I profess great fear. I do not know what is going to happen. But, I would like to ask that you join me in a cessation of saying, “Go and sin no more.” For today, I am sure this is not a snippet of hope. And, perhaps the Lord, in His infinite goodness, will whisper this to a broken heart on their bathroom floor, and it will speak to them, and they will be convicted, and that one person will change.
But today I am certain it is not a Word to be shouted out as a totality. The French, the Americans, the racists, the bigots, the homophobes, the homosexuals, the righteous, the self-righteous, and so on, are not being called out in destruction under the umbrella of this. And if they are, may God have mercy on us all. This snippet of scripture needs to be pulled off our bumper stickers, t-shirts, and other obnoxious professions of faith. And while I don’t know, I feel this scripture is a Divine calling between God and me.
Let’s stop using this in our ministry. The hypocrisy is too much.
As a mom of teens and toddlers, I have pulled my hair out “Why won’t you do as you’re told???” It is that simple? WHY WON’T THEY STOP SINNING AND DO WHAT THEY ARE TOLD?
Well, why am I any different? The bible tells my children to honor their mother and father and be obedient. And yet, they won’t do it. And while I am not sneaking out of a window after curfew or coloring on the walls, I still sin. I still go against the law. I have not ceased, “to go and sin no more.” And I trust my children to grow in wisdom and I want to believe they will seek out the truth of the Word, just as I do.
But, alas, it is not the olden day Sabbath, I am not paralyzed, I have not just encountered the real Jesus, I have not picked up my mat, met with church elders who chastised me for carrying my mat, and walked in the totality of the freedom of a sin-free existence.
No, it is November 14, 2015. A very sad Saturday in a world crushed under the weight of sin and pain. Today I chose only this snippet, and I profess it in its simple totality:
Jésus said, “Je suis le chemin. “
“I am the way…”