Bill’s boots on the ground
Freedom. It’s what was celebrated all across the United States on the 4th of July. However, in my experience, freedom is not recognized by all here in our country. I am talking about the guests of the Mission. Some struggle everyday to understand freedom, as they are slaves to sin. So many of the success stories of our program graduates you read about in these newsletters have this freedom from sin to celebrate. Jesus gives us an example of this in the story in the Book of John.
John 8:1-11: “… Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ This they said to test him that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’
In these verses you find the true freedom given to all human beings: Forgiveness. When we serve our guests, we do encounter some that are obviously in their sin and brokenness. Just like the woman in the story, they are expecting to be treated just like the Pharisees did. Jesus gives grace to the woman and brings understanding to sin in those around this situation by saying “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” All of them eventually left without casting a stone.
My prayers are that more would be truly freed from the bondage of sinful acts like addiction, alcoholism, and brokenness. That we would understand we are just as guilty in our sins as the woman from the story, yet Jesus speaks on our behalf, as he did for her. True freedom is found in the grace of God. We get to teach and extend this to all of our guests and program participants here at the Mission.
Thank you for helping us do this work of showing grace upon grace upon grace.
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