A Seat at the Table Part Two

Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”  And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:44-50

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The woman went to Simon’s house because she wanted to see Jesus

She didn’t care what Simon and his friends might think. She didn’t want to miss her chance to be with Jesus. Simon had missed the opportunity of a lifetime. He had so much but he gave so little

She knew that she might never have the chance again so even though she had so little yet she gave so much!

 

She wasn’t embarrassed or in a hurry. There was nothing more important on her schedule that day. While Simon probably couldn’t wait for her worship to end, she lavished the final drops of perfume on Jesus’ feet. Inwardly Simon criticized both her and Jesus because he never saw his own need. But this very special lady knew that forgiveness and grace weren’t just ideas to understand but gifts she desperately needed to receive!

 

Yet worship is more than despair at our condition, it is the expression of faith that no matter how big our sin: God’s mercy is bigger! May her story be ours – Sinned much- Repented much-Forgiven much- Loved much!

A Seat at the Table

And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”  Luke 7:37-39

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When Simon invited Jesus to his house that day he thought that Jesus would be delighted to come. Though Simon wasn’t one of those plotting to kill Jesus, he was uncomfortable with His teaching and wanted to have a chance to question Jesus personally. Jesus accepted the invitation because He wanted to answer Simon’s questions, just not in the way that Simon had expected! Simon thought that he the situation under control, till that sinful woman entered and began washing Jesus’ feet. Simon couldn’t understand. A humble repentant faith was foreign to him. His faith meant obeying all the rules and regulations then feeling good about himself. But faith is more than just giving Jesus a seat at our table. Faith is seeing ourselves for who we are because we have seen Him for who He truly is! Think of what Simon missed. He had given no water, no oil, no kiss, in all the time that Jesus sat at his table. What chances will you and I miss today if we find only what we are looking for and not what He has planned?

Ten Questions for God – Question One

IMG_4754 It seems we are sometimes under the impression that it is unwelcome to ask God questions. When I look into the New Testament however; I find that not only is Jesus not at all put out when asked questions. In fact some of our best stories from the lips of the greatest teacher came when someone asked a good question. What is your question for God today. Here is question number one and asked of course by a lawyer!

 

 

Nepal and India 243                           Who is my Neighbor?  Luke 10:29

Welcomed with a Holy Kiss

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. Romans 16:16

Though we in the U.S. aren’t big on kissing when we meet one another at church, the greeting in the church of Paul’s day was more than just a handshake and a howdy. A kiss on the cheek  was a common greeting and a way of expressing affection and trust. It was a way of saying to one another “You are completely loved and accepted and all of my resources are at your disposal.” When was the last time someone greeted you in such a way? Would you be comfortable with that kind of commitment? I found it amazing as I read through this last chapter of Romans at all the people whom Paul could greet by name and with obvious familiarity and affection. He names 26 different people he knew at Rome though he had not yet even traveled there once! Could you write a letter to a church in another city and name 26 of the people there and say: “Send them my love!”? Maybe our lack of close affectionate relationship grows from our own uncomfortable relationship with God. Have you ever thought that God would want to greet you, not only by name but with a Holy kiss? I remember when my own father was still alive he would always kiss me on both cheeks in typical Italian family style. As a teen-ager I wasn’t at all comfortable with that especially in front of others. Now that my Dad has moved his address to Heaven, how I would love to have even one moment with him to feel his kiss on my cheek again.

Once Jesus was invited to Simon, the Pharisee’s house for dinner.  At one point Jesus pointed out sadly that Simon had not greeted him with a common kiss. Meanwhile a woman ( known as a sinner) from the village scandalized Simon as she began to kiss the feet of Jesus! As the prodigal son was returning home his father saw him a long way off and the Bible tells us that he ran to him, embraced him and kissed him. Can you accept that this is the heart of God for you? Until we are ready to meet Father and receive His loud kisses on both cheeks we will never know how to truly give such love and acceptance to others.     December 2008 171_crop

Maybe today can be the day when we learn to drop all our safe boundaries between us and God and allow Him to wrap us in His loving arms. Maybe today we will begin to experience the love that is more than just being accepted. Our loving Father has welcomed us home with a Father’s kiss! We are completely loved and accepted and all His resources are at our disposal.  Once we experience God welcoming us with His Holy kiss then our only question is – who will we share that kiss with today?