PENTECOST 3C

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June 13,  2010       

 

 SCRIPTURES
  • 1 Kings 21:1-21a Ahab, Jezebel, Naboth, and the prophet Elijah are the major players in this story
  • Psalm 5:1-8
  • Galatians 2:15-21  Regarding the inclusion of Gentiles in the emerging church
  • Luke 7:36—8:3  Woman anoints Jesus with expensive oils; The parable of the two debtors

-Our lesson includes Luke's version of the anointing of Jesus (7:36-51), which is found in all four gospels; and a statement about the women who share in and financially support Jesus' ministry (8:1-3), which is found only in Luke.

 

-This story of the woman anointing Jesus appears in all four Gospels, with a variety of differences, but the same root story. Historians say that while Mark's version is most likely the most faithful to the actual event, Luke's story is the one most people remember. There is poignant beauty and dramatic fluidity to this story that is hard to beat. Luke's "brilliant and dangerous artistic ability" is certainly evident in what has been called one of the great episodes of the Lukan Gospel. Scholars have noted that the Lukan version of the story leads us to the misunderstanding that the woman who comes to the home of the Pharisee is none other than Mary Magadelene, and that has led to the assumption that Mary was a prostitute. But most scholars acknowledge that the woman of Luke 7 and the woman of Luke 8 are two different women. Rather than being a comment of the life of Mary Magadelene, the story of the anointing of Jesus in Luke might have been written to illustrate the difference between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus is portrayed as a friend of tax collectors and sinners and the Pharisees are the ones who reject "God's purpose." In Luke, the anointing of Jesus in not the central act or movement as it is in the other three Gospels. In contrast, Luke's focus is on (1) the emotional extravagance of the woman's actions, (2) the radical acceptance of Jesus for her and on (3) the forgiveness of her sins. Dejong

-Note that the words (kataklino -- "took his place at the table" in v. 36) and (katakeimai -- "was eating" in v. 37) literally mean, "to recline." Jesus was lying down with his feet stretch out away from the food, so that the woman could approach his feet. She didn't have to crawl under a table to get to them!  Stoffregen

-As the woman stood weeping behind Jesus, she began to wash his feet with her tears. In a spontaneous act, she let down her hair and began to wipe the tears from Jesus' feet and then anointed them with the perfume. The woman's act expresses love and gratitude, but it also violated social conventions. Touching or caressing a man's feet could have sexual overtones, as did letting down her hair, so a woman never let down her hair in public. Moreover, the woman was known to be a sinner. Assuming she was unclean, she would have made Jesus unclean by touching him. Culpepper

-Simon had called Jesus "teacher" in v. 40. Now, in v. 44, Jesus tells him to look at this woman. She can also be his teacher. She can teach him about being forgiven. She can teach him about receiving grace. She can teach him about love and hospitality. However, it begins by seeing her as an individual, a person, a woman, rather than primarily, "a sinner". Stoffregen

-Both "forgive" and "love" in the last part of this verse are present tense verbs, which imply repeated or continual action. So it might be translated, "The one who continues to be forgiven little, continues to love little." ibid

-Karl Menninger, the famed psychiatrist, once said that if he could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent of them could walk out the next day!

 

-What's wrong with the world?" a newspaper editorial once asked. G. K.

Chesterton wrote in reply, "I am."

 

-Aramaic word for forgive is shaw it means, to untie.

 

-In this story, whom do you identify with? Who are you in the story? In this story for today, you are one of two characters. Are you more like Simon the Pharisee who basically magnifies the faults of others, magnifies the faults of your husband or wife, your son or daughter, your in-laws, your friends, that certain person at work, that someone who disagrees with you. That down deep in your heart, you are judgmental to other people and their sins? Or are you like this woman who knows her sinfulness and comes to Jesus and says, “Lord, I have these problems inside, this sinfulness. Would you forgive me? Would you help to change me?.” Marquart

 

-Where does one go when told by Christ "Go in peace"? The price of the woman's way of life in the city has been removal from the very institutions that carried the resources to restore her. The one place where she is welcome is the street, among people like herself. What she needs is a community of forgiven and forgiving sinners. The story screams the need for a church, not just any church but one that says, "You are welcome here." [p. 106]  I wonder if Simon would be able to go in peace. It seems to me that his encounter with Jesus and the woman would cause his peaceful world to fall apart.  Craddock

 

-Forgiveness is unconditional or it is not forgiveness at all. Forgiveness has the character of "in spite of," but the righteous ones give it the character of "because." (must become something first)  Tillich

 

-Jesus spent most of his time hanging out with people at the edges. There he found life, movement, openness, some certain tenderness and his own liberating power in return. New life waits at the edges, not only in the center of things. Dejong

 

-Forgiveness, when done right, is about love and acceptance and can be more of a state of being than an actual act. But the state of forgiveness is difficult to achieve, let alone receive, because the nagging voice of perfectionism is present in so many of us.
Perfectionism speaks the language of fear: fear of failure, fear of having too much or too little, fear of love, fear of our own acceptance. This fear of being something less than perfect and powerful is the voice that is continually playing in the background of our society.
Dejong

 

 

-Forgiveness creates repentance  Tillich

 

-Where does one go when told by Christ "Go in peace"? The price of the woman's way of life in the city has been removal from the very institutions that carried the resources to restore her. The one place where she is welcome is the street, among people like herself. What she needs is a community of forgiven and forgiving sinners. The story screams the need for a church, not just any church but one that says, "You are welcome here." Fred Craddock

 

-An hour glass...sands stuck because of resentment, suspicion, bigotry, etc.

 

-Forgiveness means relinquishment. It's that simple. To relinquish something is to release whatever power

it holds over us. If I forgive someone for a wrong done to me, I no longer allow that event to determine

how I treat the other person.

 

-Forgiveness Words: resentment means to feel again, scab, abacus, grudge, rupture, cease fire, scale, chain reaction, risk, Tit-for-tat,  Fissure, Scar, Heal, band aid,

 

-Pardon, contains the word donum or gift.

 


SERMON                                      HEALING THE RELATIONSHIP   Forgivness is all about healing a relationship. Jesus wanted Peter to heal his relationship with Mary, not for Mary's sake but for Peter's sake....for the relationship's sake. 

 

-I forgive you for what you did to me but I cannot forgive you for what you did for yourself  Nietzsche

-Forgiveness is spirit...it's our nature.

- "We have just enough religion to hate, but not enough to make us love one another. "Jonathan Swift in 1711

-She got even in a way that was almost cruel. She forgave them.

-Love does not flourish between un-equals.

-The goal of forgiveness is to renew and deepen relationship.

-By not forgiving, I chain myself to a desire to get even, thereby losing my freedom. H.Nouwen

-Nothing we do to punish someone will heal either one of us.

-Forgiveness is a by product of healing

-"I am precious, worthful and valuable as I am, not as I act."

-It helps to cut the connection between personhood and performance.

-Forgiveness is an internal process 

-Jesus did not take something out of us to make us good. He helped us recognize something with in…..truth, love, forgiveness,

-Forgiveness is a process.... 

-Forgiveness is the oil of a relationship.

-Forgiveness is something you do for you.

-Forgiveness is an act of faith. (trust that God is a better justice maker than I am. Yancey What's so Amazing About Grace

-Word forgive contains the word, "give".

-Forgiveness is standing up and facing the future without the weight of the past.

-Forgiveness is unconditional. Tillich

-Forgiveness is an unnatural act. Philip Yancey

-Is not one step but a whole flight of steps.

-Freeing for both parties.

-Forgiveness is when you no longer need to punish, hate, etc. 

-For God to forgive me is to change me. W.J.Burghardt, S.J.

 


                                           

 

 

 

HUMOR

-There's an old story about a preacher speaking to a children's Sunday school

class. He asked the question, "What must one do to be forgiven of sin?"  One

of the kids answered, "First of all, you have to sin."

-

ILLUSTRATIONS

1.Remember the story of The Millionaire? Each week an anonymous millionaire

would give a one-million-dollar gift to someone. The gift was always free-but

the gift always made a big change in the recipient's life.  That's how grace

is.  You don't change in order to receive God's grace: you change as a result

of experiencing God's grace.  Grace is like corrective surgery.  We are

helpless-but God gives us grace, and God's grace changes what we cannot

change.

 

 

 

CHILDREN

1. Hold up a damaged can from grocery store - had lost their labels, had dents, were crushed.  Sometimes they are  placed in a large basket in the front of the store. And on the basket is a large sign that reads, "Damaged Goods. Cheap." But not very many people bought them. Most just ignored them. "It seems to me that a lot of people, more than you might think, feel like this. Whatever the reason, things they've done, things life has done to them, things beyond their control, have made them feel like damaged goods...bent out of shape, crushed, of little value to themselves or anyone else." I wonder if the woman in our text for today felt that way about herself?
Damaged goods. Valued by no one. Ignored by many...maybe looked down on by the rest.  The Pharisees represented a "sick religion"  one that excludes people, etc. Jesus' religion is one of grace....includes everyone.  When Jesus looks at us, he does not see damaged goods.  He represents a kind of healthy religion that is redemptive and life-changing, not one that labels and condemns. In the grocery store where Bass Mitchell watched the "Damaged Goods" basket, he found that most people never even looked in that basket.  But there was this one man named Mr. Christopher, who was a regular customer.  He would always go to the damaged goods basket and buy several items there.  One day Bass asked him why he did that when most other people didn't.  He said, "Nothing's really wrong with these," holding up a can that had part of the label gone and several dents. "It's just bent up a little. On the inside it's as good as the ones on the shelves, and it's what's on the inside that counts, isn't it?"

2.-Opaque fluid is the magical liquid that covers over your errors, your typos, your unfortunate slip-ups. You brush on the liquid and start all over again-hopefully this time with no unfortunate slip-ups. Opaquefluid is forgiveness, an obliteration of a goof with no telltale traces that the goof happened at all. John V. Chervokas, How to Keep God Alive from 9 to 5.

3-I have deleted all my files.  Build a children's sermon around this idea of deleting your files.

4. When you sin, you cut the string (as if God in heaven holds each person on a string). Then God ties it up again, making a knot...thereby bringing you a little closer to Him, etc.

 

PRAYER RESPONSES

- ..... We thank you for the love that you have given in Jesus Christ--love that looks beyond our sin. O God, give us the grace to pass on the love that you have given us. Give us the wisdom to see where that love needs to be given and give us the boldness and courage to give it. In the name of Christ we give you thanks and praise. Amen

 

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