Posted by: gbake783 | August 24, 2011

Luke 7:36-50

Sometimes pastors out-think themselves when preaching. It’s possible to deflect Scripture’s force with humorous anecdotes or heart wrenching stories. As I reflected on my presentation of the word this last week (sermon postmortem is another thing pastors can over-do), I may have done just that. Luke’s story is filled with so many truths and nuances that it’s easy to be distracted from the bottom line: those forgiven much, love much.

A sinful woman, who was forgiven much poured upon our Lord perhaps the most self-effacing worship recorded in all the New Testament. She cleansed our Savior’s feet with her tears. She did not spare her finest ointment, but poured it liberally on Jesus’ feet and head. And she kissed our Savior’s feet. Repeatedly. She cried, cleansed, kissed, wiped. And then did it again and again.

When I allowed my imagination to view the scene, I saw a beautiful expression of worship, of course. But when I imagined myself in her position, my soul recoiled slightly. Could I be so broken over my sin and weep so profoundly that my tears could legitimately wash another’s feet? Could I kiss another’s feet over and over again? No. But would I kiss my Savior’s feet? I say yes, but I feel the hesitation. I feel the recoil, which reveals just how proud I am. Seeing as how I deserve nothing better than hell, if my heart does not swell at the opportunity – the immense privilege – it would be to kiss my Savior’s feet, then I have altogether too high an opinion of myself. I talk often of service and sacrifice, of love and devotion. Our Christian culture repeats pithy phrases like, “he with the dirtiest towel wins.” But again, we’re brought back to the bottom line: those forgiven much, love much. And do we love that much? Do we love enough to worship like this sinful woman did? And be careful before answering yes too quickly. Allow your imagination to run to a dining room filled with respectful people. Approach your Savior before all these searching eyes. Imagine throwing yourself to the ground to weep, wipe, anoint, and kiss. And refuse to raise your eyes to your Savior. Truly, do you love that much?

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