Thursday, October 7, 2010
Broken Open by Love
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he canceled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 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 wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7"36-50
In the past few days our house has been full of family. Life is in flux for most of us, one mending from surgery others with job and relationship stresses. It may be the time of year, this time of changes, the winter bearing down and the leaves beginning to fall. A moving inside and a time of examination. Some times these changes come naturally and sometimes there are bumps and curves that no one expected.
Into this scene comes the story of a woman coming to Jesus at a fancy dinner. She is crying, and washing her feet with expensive perfume and her long lustrous hair. She finds herself in a place where life is changing and the chains and imprisonment of her life are falling away. She has made some terrible mistakes, maybe even for the right reasons. In the face of God's love and forgiveness she can't help but be broken open by love. Her tears flow and her heart is generous once again - to herself and the world around her. The weight of her troubles are lifted, despite the rejection and refusal of the fancies around her. Love has made her whole for the first time in a long time and she is not going to let love get away.
Today, I want to remember that we are all forgiven and set free by God's love in our lives. No matter how horrible the circumstances we face, no matter the momentary snags and bumps, God's love and forgiveness is a daily offering, a daily presence, a daily sign od love breaking through all the chains and mistakes that bind us. May we all live in the hope and presence of God's love which breaks our hearts open daily, open for more love this day.