On Sunday June 12, 2016 at 11:00 AM the message "Neither Do I Condemn Thee" was given by Minister Christine Lee at Gratia Community Church in Sioux Falls, SD. This message was taken from John 8:1-11 and Psalms 130:1-4.
The Pharisees found a woman caught in the very act of adultery. So they thought surely if Jesus was going to keep the law He would have to consent to her being stoned. However Jesus wrote something on the ground and told the first one without sin to go ahead and stone her. For some reason they all left starting with the eldest, and Jesus said to the woman, "neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more".
Christine realized there were two scenes. One was the woman standing before the Lord. The other was Pharisees with their fellow followers standing before the Lord. In some ways all Christians are part of both scenes. The Pharisees represent those that love God's way and do all they know to keep it. The woman is those that have no thought at all for following God's way. The problem with the Pharisees was they thought they had become good enough to be judge. Any believer, if not careful, can fall into this trap. The woman came to see her error and experienced the true repentance when she confronted with the unconditional forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
After the sermon Bruce asked everybody two questions. Why did the oldest Pharisees leave first, and what was Jesus writing on the ground. He thought the writing was multidimensional, says many things and was also written with the "finger of God" just as in Exodus. The eldest left first understanding sooner because of more experience.
Gloria and Linda felt the writing was asking which of them had also committed adultery and the eldest understood more as well.
Darwin used an example from the war of younger soldiers following their leaders and reminded us some women are forced to prostitution due to their circumstances.
Alan used the example of a friend hooked on drugs so much she neglected her children.
Luke thought the writing was both the Commandment about adultery and Jesus' word about the merciful receiving mercy, and the eldest left first because they were the ring leaders.
After reflection and sharing everyone had Luke's Chinese specialty dish and fellowship in the dining room.