Saturday, June 25, 2016

Eyes, Ears and Spirit Engaged

Do you know this story from Luke 7:36-50?

Jesus went to a dinner hosted by pharisees, people he knew were probably trying to trick him, rather than really listen to him.

A woman with a well-known, less than glowing reputation entered the courtyard with a bottle of perfume. She proceeded to anoint Jesus feet and wipe them with her hair and tears.

There was tension in the room.  This woman had the ability to "defile" you by just touching you, and Jesus was allowing her to do this to him.

There was tension...there was smugness...there was disdain...AND there was love...there was peace...there was forgiveness.

Al preached on this a couple of weeks ago.  We looked at the pharisees, and the forgiven woman, but what really struck me was looking at Jesus.  Ever since I have been drawn back to this story to contemplate Jesus presence through it all.

While the room is abuzz with the smugness and disdain, Jesus is enjoying the love poured out by the forgiven woman.  He doesn't listen to the voices in the room.  John records several times when Jesus says, "I only do what I see the Father do.  I only say what I hear the Father say."  This is the voice to which he is totally tuned in.

Then he says to Simon, "Simon, we need to talk."  He reminds Simon of what he has not done for his "guest."  He tells a short parable.  He then blesses the woman.

What struck me was Jesus' non-anxious presence in that space.  He is so tuned in to the Father he knows what is truth...he knows what he needs to do...he refuses to be ensnared by the response of others.

I want to be more like Jesus.  I want to be that non-anxious presence in tension filled places.  But, I realize I need to be more disciplined about listening to the Father; better at seeing how God is at work in the world, and my little corner of it.

In our tension filled world today, maybe we need to start by kneeling at the feet of Jesus and asking him to teach us what that looks like for each one of us.

Lord, where are you calling me to be a presence for you?  Teach me to listen for your voice.  Help me to rise above the fear that seeks to blind us to your truth.  Calm my heart and fill me with courage and confidence in you, my Rock and my Salvation.

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