Pots and Kettles

21/06/12 | Posted by HughB

No doubt many of us picked up the recent concern about racism amongst football supporters at Euro 2012. The BBC has seemed especially worried about the matter, devoting a whole Panorama programme to the issue. Mind you, I had to smile when, having discussed racism on Match of the Day, the very same TV presenter in the lead-up to the Germany - Portugal game, pointed out that the Germans had arrived on the pitch pretty early “probably so that they could lay out their towels”.

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 You’re Black!

It is so much easier to spot the weaknesses, failings and frailties in others than it is to see our own. Or perhaps we are aware of our issues but find it easier to focus attention on those of others.

I love the story in John’s gospel (John 8:1-11) when a woman who has been caught in adultery (I wonder where the bloke was!) is brought before Jesus by the religious leaders so that he can tell them what they should do – follow the Jewish Law and stone her to death (against Roman Law) or do something else (against the Jewish Law). Jesus gives them the advice, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

Of course, they drop their stones and one by one they leave until just Jesus and the woman is left. And then even though he is without sin and so could, in theory, pelt her with rocks, Jesus tells her that he won’t condemn her either but asks her not to sin again.

We are all on a journey with God (even those who are not aware of him) and there aspects of our lives that are not too bad and other bits that really need some working on but it is not our job to highlight the faults in others. Jesus said that that was the part of the work of the Holy Spirit.

The other thing I like about Jesus’ dealings with the adulteress is that even before he gives his advice, the Bible says that he stooped down to write in the dust. He took time. He gave himself time to think (and pray?)

Perhaps we too need to pause a little more and look at ourselves before we point at others.

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