25 March: John 8.31-42

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free”?’

Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.’

They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.’ They said to him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.’


Prejudice

“…everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household.

Whispered gossip
Like a quiet, scented vapour
Cloaked and lazy, sinks
Rank, below awareness,
And, in the minds alike of wise
And troubled children
Quickly dries, and hides
A clear crisp shell.

As a boundary, as a break
As a making of duplicity,
Nicodemus comes by night:
The priest and victim
Of a different dispensation
Mocked out, and mocking self within.
Endlessly perpetuating sin
We wait for an expensive freedom.

Perhaps, as children of the Son of Man
Our solidarity of faith in Him
Is not a different leap of trust
From loving in the complex rigging
Of each other, but the same.
Trusting them and their trust in me,
Embracing that most awkward codicil
Of loving when our neighbour
Is our chosen enemy.