Sunday 23 August 2009

I wasn’t playing the hymns today so I had a relaxing morning, reading a book and then practising my exam pieces. There wasn’t much sun out but through the clouds you could tell it was a very bright day and the sky was a gorgeous blue. So we had another lovely walk through the park. The Church sermon was particularly good today. I didn’t have my pen and paper with me today so I wasn’t able to take any notes. But I do remember the two bible readings. The first was the story of how Jesus found people trading inside the temple (the part reserved for the Gentiles) during worship, there were cattle and money changers, and Jesus told them off for trading in place of worship, and to leave. The second reading was about the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, and Jesus told the people there who were condemning her, to throw the first stone if they had not committed any sins in their life. The Sermon was taken from Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the spirit, that is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law”.

The focus today was on two of these ‘fruits’, of which one stems out of the other. The first was goodness, and the second was kindness. You will probably agree that kindness comes out of goodness. And so the Minister linked this back to the two readings. That Jesus showed his goodness when he told the traders to go out of the Temple. It was disrepectful to the Lord to be carrying on trade inside the temple, and also disrespectful to the Gentiles, who had their space taken over by the traders, which prohibits their access to the worship, their view, and inhibiting their ability to hear the worship from the inner temple. As to the second of these fruits, kindness, this was linked to the reading about the woman and casting the first stone if you have not committed any sins. In that story, the elderly people left the scene first, and then the younger ones, until there was no one left there. No one was without sin and therefore there was no one left to throw the first stone at the woman. Except of course, Jesus. The only person left behind with the woman with Jesus. At the time Jesus had had his head down doodling in the sand. When he looked up, he said to the woman, is no one left? She said, no one. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Go, but do not do that again.” In this scenario, Jesus displayed kindness towards the woman when he told her to go. Jesus talks about hating the sin, but loving the sinner, and so today’s theme was on forgiveness. Many of us find it very difficult to forgive, and that mostly depends on individual circumstances, as well as the passage of time. Whenever someone talks of forgiveness it always reminds me of a passage I read in a book by Scott Peck. Peck is a psychiatrist, and in his book (I can’t remember now which title it was, but one of the series of the Road Less Travelled and/or beyond), and Peck says that forgiveness is not for the person who committed the wrongful Act, but it is for our own sake. He said that to forgive is to give ourselves something like a sense of relief, and an inner peace.

Published by Alice Letts

Online training for parents and children. Online piano and music tutoring. Online tutoring for English as a Second Language (ESOL) with an emphasis on pronunciation. Online meditation coaching for parents and how to incorporate meditation into daily family life.

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