Sunday, September 13, 2009
If only we alway saw things the way He does.
Quite a week. After a whirlwind first day of school, Esther Short Park show, football game Friday night, and working yesterday- I want to just curl up on my sofa for at least a week in jammies and with a good book. I haven't felt this "bone tired", as Laura Ingalls would say, in a long time. I suppose it didn't help to stay up until 2 am last night with Arnold Schwarzenegger and my dear friend Nicole. :) But it was so worth it!
Thinking about all that transpired this week, and the way my kids are adjusting to new schools and new people, I thought about how courageous they are and how much I desperately want them to live totally in love with God. I don't want any of us to be content with being a church going Christian, I want us to laugh, love and learn more about our Jesus every day. How to teach that, I have no idea. But I can pray that God finds a way.
I read Luke 7 and it hit me how much more I could do if I was just brave enough. This woman had SUCH a heart for Jesus.
"Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." Luke 36- 38
This woman knew she was trash. All the biblical scholars agree that she was most likely a prostitute and had no business coming to dinner at a Pharisee's house (that would be like a hooker showing up uninvited to a wealthy, well known Pastor's dinner party.) She knew that she had no right to want Jesus so much, no good deeds to offer Him, not even one example of charity or religious purity to show Him. Yet she truly couldn't keep herself away. She couldn't know that He was within walking distance of her brothel and NOT run to Him. She brought the only gift she could, but most importantly, she brought the offering of a repentant heart and a love for Him that wouldn't be scared away.
What do you think that Pharisee was thinking? Self righteous garbage is what the Scripture says. And Jesus had an amazing response. Listen:
"Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said. Luke 7:40-43
Jesus then goes on to compare the welcome He got from the "sinful woman" and the Pharisee. She gave Him the welcome and service of a King, where the best commentaries say Simon the Pharisee had invited Jesus there only to trap Him and catch Him saying something wrong. He didn't offer any of the customary welcomes for guests, which were common at the time- no washing of Jesus's feet, no welcome kiss, no oil for his head. Yet she gave them all, in such a beautiful way.
It took guts for that woman to go in front of the "cool crowd", to see all the wealth and outward "goodness" they had, and put herself out there. But she did it because she kept her eyes on Jesus. She focused on the only one who's opinion she cared about, and ran into the arms that she KNEW would never turn her away. She BELIEVED that God's grace would be enough, in spite of all her inadequacies.
Oh, how do I show my kiddos that? How do I encourage Jazz to be confident in spite of the "mean girls"? To show them kindness and love even when they spit in her face? How do I explain to Jordan how important it is to stand up for what is right? To have courage when everyone else gives in? To teach them NEVER to become a "Pharisee", to know and experience how wonderful it is to be totally forgiven and free...at the feet of Jesus.
Do an amazing work in all our hearts today, Father. Help us to be honest and faithful to You, and to keep our eyes on Jesus- the author and perfecter of our faith.
"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much...
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:47,50