Saturday, April 21, 2007

In need of forgiveness

Proper6 Sunday 17th June 2007

Luke 7:36-8:3

7:36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table.

7:37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.

7:38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him--that she is a sinner."

7:40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Teacher," he replied, "Speak."

7:41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

7:42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?"

7:43 Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt." And Jesus said to him, "You have judged rightly."

7:44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.

7:45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.

7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."

7:48 Then he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

7:49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

7:50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

8:1 Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him,

8:2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,

8:3 and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

We, each of us, are capable of consciously or unconsciously
doing some awful things.
When we act out of rage, or impatience, or frustration
or just sheer badness
we potentially separate ourselves from God and other people.

We invest an awful lot of energy in either pretending this isn't so
or that things are some how otherwise.
This process begs the question about how conscious we are
or can be of such behaviour.

But we see a number of times in the Gospels
people who actually become aware
of their own unconscious behaviour
and seek to change.
They come to Jesus and he opens up to them (us!)
to enable this process to happen.

This story shows us that this process
is not reserved for the pious
or the intelligent
and certainly not for the good
But rather for the one's who realise they need to repent.
They become conscious and start to live differently.

What is also interesting in this particular story
is that Jesus does not see the righteous or the religious
as being particularly welcoming of this process.
Quite the reverse.
Religion often seems to decrease the likelihood that people will be able to see the need for this.

This is exposed by judgmentalism.
When we all to readily see the faults of others
but fail to see that
we are just like too.

Where is God inviting me to be conscious of what is happening in my life?
Where does my own judgmentalism of others exposed my own need to repent?
Pray for consciousness of Christ living with and in me, for grace to repent, and for courage to be non-judgmental

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