For today, please read Luke 7:36-50.
There are so many things in this story that make me uncomfortable. Before we even get to this woman kissing Jesus’ feet and anointing him, we learn that this woman was not an invited guest to this dinner party, she just came. This kind of faux pas makes me cringe – for her, for Jesus, and for the Pharisee who was the host. But Jesus, you’ll notice throughout the Gospels, isn’t concerned about social niceties. Jesus isn’t concerned about propriety, but is only concerned about people. People like this woman who is known only as “sinner.” He sees her for who she is and loves her. Others see her for her faults, her faux pas, her improprieties. But Jesus sees her as a beloved, generous, gracious, loving, forgiven. Sure, the ways that this woman displays her love and deep regard for Jesus make me uncomfortable, but what makes me more uncomfortable is how this story sheds light on me. If Jesus sees that woman in all her faux pas, then he also sees this woman (finger pointing at myself). And if Jesus sees me, then Jesus also sees you; improprieties, faults, faux pas and all. Most of us spend a lot of energy holding up our end of the social contracts, being polite, following the rules of society, and not showing our messy sides in public. With Jesus it doesn’t matter. He knows, and he loves. So here is my bad/good news for the day. The bad news is that you can’t hide from Jesus. The good news is that you can’t hide from Jesus. Being real, like this woman and her response to Jesus, frees her to really experience and know the grace of God, which those hiding behind niceties don’t get to feel. I see this woman and know that I have a lot to learn from her about how to experience Jesus in all his fullness. Do you see her? What does she have to teach you?
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray:
Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Friend, Amen.