Charlie Brown = Jesus…Better punt that idea before Lucy gets ahold of it.

Could Jesus have succumbed to a Charlie Brown attitude?

The Scribes and the Pharisees often would hold the football for him to kick.


Jesus never attempted the running toward the football held by the Lucy’s of the time. Instead he magically switched places with the cunning and held the football with the laces out.


He switched places with questions. He asked a lot of them. He asked the lot of them.

He didn’t do it for kicks. I don’t believe he would have pulled the ball away either.


His goal was to allow them to kick it and kick it through the uprights. His questions were always leading questions to aim the kickers to the truth. That was the “kicker” always, to place-kick the truth through the uprights.


Jesus gave the opportunity for the Scribes and Pharisees to see themselves in between the goal posts of false piety and humble confession.


When I am feeling like Charlie Brown at least I know Jesus will hold the ball still and reveal some truth about who I am. He holds the questions steady and an honest answer will kick it through the uprights.


John 8:1-12 is a good example.

Lucy, Charlie Brown, Jesus…which one would you wish to be like?


Pop Quiz. What is the definition of impunity?

“You can lie to a building; you cannot lie to a person with impunity.” Ravi Zacharias

“Alone, we cannot face ‘the mystery of iniquity’ with impunity. Only Christ can overcome the powers of evil. Only in and through him can we survive the trials of our solitude.” Henry Nouwen

These quotes were read the same day from two different books. The word ‘impunity’ stuck out because I have never read the word impunity before. I did not know what it meant. I keyed it into my Word program, highlighted it, and looked it up.

Impunity: Exemption from punishment, harm, or recrimination.

Recrimination: An accusation made against somebody who has brought a previous accusation.

I have read or heard, however, the word impudence before. Must likely I heard it in a movie, set in an 1800’s time-frame in England. The word impunity isn’t heard in conversations with the local present day crowd, unless one is a lawyer or a judge or something of that nature. Yet the concept of impunity is woven throughout our culture and beyond.

Really, who wouldn’t want to claim impudence? Honestly, when I make a bad decision, either premeditated or thoughtless, my wish is to not suffer any consequences. I drift toward impunity. Who wouldn’t?

My wife and I have a houseful of children. I wonder if some of them took a seminar on how to garner impunity. They are experts at turning on tears, deflecting, finger pointing, changing the conversation, and I get ‘played’ quite often. But Barbara, my wife and in-house prosecutor is well read. Crime And Punishment you will find tucked nicely under her pillow. She, bless her, has had a ‘head-tilt arms-on-hips’ response for me when I try my ‘lawyer’ on with the children. All she has to say is ‘Gerald!’ and I know I missed it again. She then steps in and I listen and learn as she prosecutes and doles out the sentence. She doesn’t flinch when they say sympathetically “I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean kick him in the shins.” I am sure any mother reading this is nodding in agreement and the fathers are grunting and scratching their scalps.

I have been meditating on a passage of scripture in which a woman was brought to Jesus. She was accused of adultery, caught in the very act, and the religious high-brows brought her to trap Jesus. Read it in the beginning of chapter eight of the gospel of John. If there was anyone who had the authority to grant impunity it was Jesus, especially because no recriminations could be tossed his way. Impunity was granted to all in the scene. The woman and the high-brows walked away impudent.

Thanks for listening as I wrap my brain around a newly learned word.

Bonus phrase for parents: “Be careful not to point a finger at others, because three are pointing back at you.” My Wife (An oft used phrase she learned as a child.)

Challenge: Try to use the word impunity or impudence in a sentence today.

Stones In Hand

Are stones for throwing?


I threw them

at miniature plastic tanks and army men.

The images on CNN framed grown men

heaving stones at armor and assault rifled soldiers.

We were boys once.


Mr. Johnson across the street taught me

to search for rolling rocks.

The roundest rocks would roll

all the way down and around the corner.

Gravity and grace on asphalt.


One of my older brothers showed me

how to skip stones at Hogset Lake.

Flat stones were prized skippers.

Side armed flings placed abbreviated touch points

across the water and we counted.


The gravity has weighted the stones

in my hand and I stand.

Shoulders slumped and a loose grip

on judgments to be thrown.

Will I be the first to cast one?


Or will I let it roll or skip and wonder?

I would cast one for fear of being found out,

and Jesus would keep writing with his finger.


Would Jesus have stopped writing if they handed him their stones?