All you need is love
Forty blogs of Lent
Ash Wednesday, Holy Trinity Huddersfield
Two days ago we had a service for Ash Wednesday. A remnant braved the conditions – it was slushy underfoot – to make it in the dark of the evening.
We sang “What a friend we have in Jesus,” which tied in nicely with the sermon and the Gospel reading.
We have a friend in Jesus, not because we’re good, but because Jesus is the friend of sinners. It’s like a child saying, “My mummy loves me when I’m naughty.” (That is parents still love their children hen they misbehave, not because they misbehave.) One of the best examples of this can be found in what was the Gospel reading:
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:2-11 (NIV)
The Pharisees were right. The law did say that, but they were concentrating on the crime, Jesus looks at the person as someone who is loved by God. Ultimately he gave himself for each one of us.
Our sins are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.