Thursday, November 18, 2010

Knowing God - Luke 7:37-38

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Your Name is X-TRAVAGANT
Lord, you are the alabaster jar of fragrant oil.
Pour your love, joy, and peace — like a river — over me today.
How has God’s goodness flowed generously over you? Lately? Ever?
 
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town
learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house,
she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 
and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping,
she began to wet his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them and poured perfume on them.
Luke 7:37-38
 
The other Gospels -- Mark 14, John 12, and Matthew 26 -- fill in a few more details:
  • Since "very expensive perfume" filled the jar, this woman's actions were extravagant.
  • Her extravagance caused "indigna[tion]" and was called "waste." (Mt 26:8)  
  • "The disciples" argued for noble-sounding (but wrong-headed) alternatives: "the money [could have been] given to the poor" (Mt 26:8, Jn 12:5)
  • Judas, we are told, "did not [make] this [noble-sounding argument] because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. ... [So t]hen Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them." (Jn 12:6 then Mk 14:10)
Holy extravagance is often misunderstood!
 
Jesus' whole goal -- and the key point he made to his indignant disciples -- was, "[What really matters is] HAV[ING] ME"! Jesus put it this way: "you will always have the poor among you, but you will not always HAVE ME" (John 12:8).
 
Did you catch that? They -- and we -- tend to focus on "having worldly things," but Jesus constantly focused on us "having him."
 
What does "having him" mean? It means having a relationship with him. It means knowing him, loving him, trusting him, walking with him. 
 
And we can have this because of Jesus. He poured everything out for us. Think about it: The shedding of his blood was even more expensive and extravagant than the woman's fragrant offering. And why did he do it? For the same reason that this woman poured out everything she had: So we could have him ... and he could have us.
 
How has God’s goodness flowed generously over you? Lately? Ever?
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's absolutely drenched
(if I stop to think about it,
I've got more anointing on my head
than a Super Bowl-winning coach
has Gatorade on his head)
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It's been a week and I am not in a mental, emotional or spiritual place to comment on this.  Let's just say I don't need a towel ... or at least I don't see a need for one.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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