Pause

God opens the door to welcome us, offering mercy for our wrongs and healing for our wounds.

We can be restored: made whole and made well!

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Listen

Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your home, you didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfumed oil on my feet. This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other table guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this person that even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Luke 7:44-50

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Think

Simon the Pharisee's dinner party was interrupted by a weeping woman, pouring oil on Jesus' feet. When Simon pointed out her inappropriate behavior, Jesus gently turned the tables: Simon neglected to wash Jesus' feet; the woman did that task. Simon failed to welcome Jesus with a kiss; the woman did that task. Simon forgot to anoint Jesus's head with oil; the woman did that task. Simon was so focused on the woman's past sins and her present actions that he forgot to do his jobs as the host of the party!

Simon the Pharisee may have had a clean record, but in his goodness he lacked real love. The woman may have had mistakes in her past, but in her "bad" behavior she acted out her love in the only ways she knew how.

What could the other dinner guests have thought? Did they gossip about the woman, her sinful past, her strange actions? No – they focused on the One who inspired such love: Jesus, the forgiver.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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Pray

God, I may not always be "good," but I can always experience your forgiveness, and I can always serve you in love and gratitude. Let my actions be my testimony. Amen.

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Go

God's grace overflows: you are forgiven!

Now open the door in a wide welcome, and offer the same mercy and healing you have received.

The world is waiting to be restored.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, military spouse, and mom of two boys. Her family moves every few years, and she is learning to love the many facets of God’s call within the changes and challenges of military life. She knits, sews, reads, paints a bit, preaches occasionally, and writes blog posts and devotionals.

Wondrous Love: Music of Lent - I Am Thine, O Lord

Mark Hayes

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