Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Cup of Joe in the morning

A devotional I received from a friend:

J.o.e. = “Joy over eternity”…Eternity spent with a loving God is not only a reality once we leave this world, but it is a reality now as well. “…the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8

A morning devotion...from one sister to another...


Luke 7:36-50
36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him (Jesus) to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner (immoral woman); and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.

This story is so beautiful... Many of us, gals, probably appreciate the sweet smell of perfume and how it causes to feel as though we are like a beautiful flower... Sometimes just wearing it makes whatever we are feeling like on the inside (perception of ourselves, pains of insecurity, etc.) overshadowed by what other's can perceive on the outside...things not hidden.
We shroud ourselves with our hairstyles, make-up, fashion trends, our jobs, our generosity,...all of the things that we long to have other's see = an outward identity. All of those things are gifts (clothing, generosity, etc) but they are not meant to be what gives us wholeness, purpose, peace...

The woman who came to Jesus knew He was eating with the Pharisees... She came to Him as she was... She didn't go and try to find a better job 1st, etc... But she went to Him with a prized possession: Her vial of very expensive alabaster perfume. She came face to face with the face of God... a face so pure... a face so loving... that she might have felt unworthy and naked (seeing even more vivdly the deperate needs within to be freed from herself and the oppressive judgement of others).

She wept... Her tears may have symbolized the relization of impurity meeting purity (Jesus)... Then tears of JOY... seeing how this Purity accepted her and loved her for who she was. No one had loved her with this kind of love... She took her perfume and washed His feet with her tears and her perfume...


39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." .....

The Pharisee reaction could be a picture of humanity...and human reasoning is so many ways...

He saw a woman whose "performance" in this world was not meeting what he felt was worthy of having God's love and favor. His perception of God was "off"/inaccurate; therefore, the Pharisee responded to her in a way that wasn't characteristic of how God would respond to her. If the Pharisee knew God as He was/is/will always be...he would have shown her love, too... This is a lesson for ALL of us...

47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." 48 Then He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?" 50 And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

What is our "perfume?"
I am not sure why she brought her perfume...but she MIGHT HAVE felt as if that was all she could give to Him that she felt was of worth...
Jesus was moved by her tears...and her heart...
When we approach God with our fears, our dreams, our questions...it is as if we are pouring perfume upon His feet... We are offering what is of deepest worth to Him...Our faith.

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