Grace, Hope, Forgiveness, Etc. …

RCL – Year B – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost – August 26, 2012

1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43 with Psalm 84 or
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 with Psalm 34:15-22
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-69

I am on vacation this week and didn’t want to skip posting. The poem below is from my book, Negotiating the Shadows: Daily Meditations for Lent. Eugene, OR: WIPF and Stock, 2010, pp. 51-52.

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

John 8:3-11

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Season Change

Despair wraps around me

like a blizzard

blinding snow

disorienting winds

fierce cold

bringing an isolating darkness

with the threat

of never ending.

What hope will guide my feet

when each step gives way to new loss?

Once, I was sure I heard You calling,

now I hear only stormy silence.

This path under my feet

was supposed to lead to You.

Yet here I am – deep in the wilderness.

She must have felt much the same

when they dropped her at Your feet –

glaringly alone

without much hope, if any,

for her life.

Those who would condemn

turned away as you rocked

their understanding.

Was she able to pick herself up

from despair

to walk back into the life You

restored to her?

No stones were thrown that day . . .

You lifted the weight of condemnation.

Where did it fall?

Back on her,

on those who held rocks at the ready,

or down through the ages to settle into the hearts

of those who pass judgment in Your name?

If I look up from this dreary path,

will I stumble onto You?

When I find myself at your feet,

speak the words

to dismiss the condemnation that echoes

through my life,

heal the heartbreak that binds me to despair,

and allow me to go and sin no more

as wintery blizzards give way to

gentle spring rains.

For more information on Negotiating the Shadows, please click here:

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About rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. My latest book is available now to order from Chalice Press, The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (
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2 Responses to Grace, Hope, Forgiveness, Etc. …

  1. Tina Newcomb says:

    Love this!

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