Friday, August 14, 2009

True worship

You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Luke 7:46 NIV

One of the most beautiful stories in the Bible is the one of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume, tears, and kisses. Bible commentaries suggest that she had been a prostitute. She may have risked stoning to come out in public to see Jesus. The dinner host, Simon the righteous church leader, had intentionally insulted Jesus by omitting the kiss of greeting and the washing of His feet. The other guests observed the insult, but the woman acted. Her love and outrage made her forget the hostile, contempt-filled crowd as she crept to Jesus’ feet.

She kissed His travel-worn, dusty feet. She offered her love in tears and kisses, to cover the insults Jesus had received. She unveiled her hair and let it fall over His feet as a towel. This was a physically intimate gesture which outraged the company.

Her extremely expensive perfume may have been used in her prostitution business. In her love, the woman gave the value of a year’s income, and with it, her heart, as she poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet. The scent filled the room, ascending with her prayer of devoted love. Jesus turned toward the woman, but addressed Simon, His host. A woman of ill repute, Jesus honored forever in God’s Word.

“Do you see this woman?” Jesus said. “I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much.” Luke 7:44-47 NIV

Worship is not always something you feel during hymns or prayer, although those are means of entering God’s presence. You can anoint Him with the perfume of kindness and mercy toward God’s children. Imagine sending a bolt of light and joy back to God! He’ll tell you the same thing He told this loving woman: Go in peace, your sins are forgiven, for you love much.

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