Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Note: Well, I didn’t realize we were supposed to be dignified! I’m not sure why this post is titled as it is. How about, “A Brief Reflection on John’s Use of Water Metaphors as a Symbol for the Holy Spirit?!?

I had so much fun today checking the Nyungwe translation of John 8. This is the section of the Bible that the scholars don’t want to acknowledge is in there. The woman caught in adultery. It is a hilarious story. We talked about recording a dramatized version. Elidio laughed nervously when we volunteered his wife to give the one line, “Palibe, Mbuya.”

Although this passage is disputed, it is inspiring. And I think it balances the story of Jesus standing up in the temple and shouting about streams of living water in John 7. Stood up. Shouted. Streams of living water. Then, bent over. Wrote with his finger. In the dust. John has such a masterful way of playing with words and symbols and most of all I think he’s the funniest evangelist. John 9 has to be one of the funnier passages in the Bible with the man born blind letting loose with a string of one-liners while the Pharisees stand around looking dumb.

Last year I wrote about the context of John 7 and the Feast of Tabernacles. It’s a beautiful image contrasting the vain pouring of water over the altar with the symbol of the Holy Spirit taking residence within us and filling us with a continual stream of life. I’d like my life to be like that. To have such an abundance of God’s Spirit that I can face down the legalists and offer grace to those caught in sin.

What do you read in Jesus’ scribbles in the sand?

3 thoughts on “Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

  1. Mike Sangrey says:

    I won’t say that John is the funniest book of the Bible. However, I think I’ll shimmy out just a little on a limb and say it’s the most entertaining.

    Masterfully written!

  2. Mike Sangrey says:

    Oh!, to answer your question: What do you read in Jesus’ scribbles in the sand?

    My own sins.

  3. Jane says:

    He writes in the sand – will he prepare the dust drink that the priests sometimes prepared for women accused of adultery to drink?
    In the end those watching and waiting and hoping for some sport drop their stones back into the dust Jesus doodles in
    From dust we are made to dust we shall return.
    I had to preach on this text when “preaching with a view” for my last parish – it was the lectionary text for passion Sunday

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