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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One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. After he entered the Pharisee’s home, he took his place at the table. Meanwhile, a woman from the city, a sinner, discovered that Jesus was dining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought perfumed oil in a vase made of alabaster. Standing behind him at his feet and crying, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured the oil on them. When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw what was happening, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner.

Luke 7:36-39

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The dinner party was underway; guests gathered around the table, chatting politely. The woman came in and knelt before Jesus, carefully setting down the heavy jar she carried. Her tears rolled off her cheeks and splashed in tiny puddles on Jesus' feet.

The small talk slowed and silenced as the weeping woman drew the guests' attention. She seemed not to notice all the eyes on her.

Simon, the host, was responsible for the party, the food, the comfort of his guests. She was disrupting his dinner! Surely if Jesus was really a prophet of God, he would know better than to allow this woman to behave so badly!

But Jesus knew exactly who she was: a sinner. Yes. A sinner who was not trying to hide behind good manners, but was honoring Jesus with her honest love. A sinner who was not kissing up to him, but was kneeling down in humility.

If only Simon had worried less about who the woman was, and paid more attention to who Jesus was! Simon sought a foretelling prophet. The woman served her forgiving Lord.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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Remind me, Lord Jesus, that you already know me: you know my wrongs, and you know my heart. Thank you for loving me as I am. Thank you for accepting my tears. Amen.

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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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