Always Grace and Love
This past Wednesday evening I had the opportunity to speak at our service. My husband was supposed to be the one speaking, but due to an unexpected needed trip to the ER for one of our sons he was unable to be there. As I stood in front of the congregation getting things prepared before the service actually began, I began asking God what was I going to speak on. I had not prepared for this, and I am not always the most confident in pulling things out of a hat at the last-minute. As I searched, I felt the Lord lead me to share from Luke 7:36-50. This is the story of the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus. This is such a powerful passage of scripture, as it shows how we often look at people. Often we look at people and only see the sin in their lives, whether it is past sin or present sin. We don’t really take the time to see the person. In this passage the Pharisees were so focused on the sin in the woman’s life that they could not see her as a person. But I love how Jesus sees her. Jesus saw her as a person. He didn’t focus on the sin in her life. He saw HER. Jesus wanted the woman to know that she was loved, valued, and treasured. He wanted her to know that God her Father saw her. The woman was created in the image of God. Jesus extended love and grace to the woman, even when the Pharisees would not.
All of us are created in the image of God, just like the woman. No matter our religious beliefs, our sexuality, our race, our ethnicity, our hair color, etc. Everyone created is created in the image of God. That is how we should look at one another. We should look at each other as if we are looking at the very image of God. We are not to focus on the sin in people’s lives, but we are to see the person and love that person. Romans 3:23 tells us, “since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That means that we all have sin in our lives, and therefore we have no room to hold other people’s sins over them. We must show love and grace to one another. When we refuse to show love and grace to one another, then we refuse to be the expression of Christ. Far too often we want people to show us love and grace, but we don’t want to dish it out to those same people. Imagine, though, how different the world would be if we saw people as the image of God, and if we showed love and grace instead of condemnation and judgment. I can say that I have felt like the woman at the feet of Jesus, broken and wanting Him to make me whole. I also must confess, much to my dismay, that I have felt like the Pharisees at times. I pray that we will get away from the Pharisee in all of us, and embrace the Jesus in all of us. I pray that we will let Jesus consume us with his love and his presence, so much that when we interact with others they will feel as if they have been in the very presence of Jesus. I pray that love and grace abound in us, instead of judgmentalism and condemnation. Let us be people of GRACE! Let us be people of LOVE!
Grace and Peace and Love