Honestly I have been struggling in worship lately. I am involved in ministry to take the gospel to places dominated by other faiths where there persecution of Christ followers occurs. So when I see people in our safe environment singing “I’ll go anywhere to follow you”, or “I give my all to you”, I think really? What if your livelihood or your life depended on it?
In Luke 7 Jesus is eating at a Pharisee’s home and is anointed by a “sinful” woman. In judgement the Pharisee thinks to himself: “If this man was a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is-that she is a sinner”. (Lk 7:39)
Knowing what he’s thinking Jesus speaks to the Pharisee and asks him to compare those who owe much and those who owe little and if both are forgiven their debts who are more grateful? The Pharisee answers: “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled” (Lk 7:42)
Turning to the woman but speaking to the Pharisee he reviews her actions. A known sinner publicly showing up, crying, wiping Jesus’ feet with her tears, kissing his feet, bringing an offering of perfume. This is open repentance, worship, bringing an offering in its purest form.
Jesus rebukes the Pharisee for not doing any of these things, and publicly forgives her and assures her: “Your faith has saved you, go in peace” (Lk 7:50)
Convicted – I saw myself as that Pharisee. While I didn’t think those in church don’t deserve to be there, I did question their faith, and worship offering. I don’t know their story, where they come from, and how they have been healed and touched by Jesus. People sing and worship because of their unique experience with the living God. It is in their context and paradigm that they bring praise.
Being a Christian for a long time has it’s pitfalls. Not feeling good about myself I was reminded how imperative it is to spend time in the Word. Even familiar stories have renewed impact. I confessed and asked for forgiveness for my Pharisaical attitude. Thankfully Jesus forgives.