Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First Observe, Then Serve: The Woman With the Alabaster Box

Welcome back to another post in my "First Observe, Then Serve" series.  To participate in this online discussion, please see my first post of this series with all the information on what to expect over the next four weeks!  Feel free to join our Facebook group, as well, where people from all walks of life are joining the conversation.

The story for this week comes from Luke chapter 7.  Towards the end of His earthly life, the Savior was invited to eat dinner at one of the Pharisee's homes.  He went, and while they were eating, a woman came and started anointing Christ.  

The host, Simon, was appalled.  He thought to himself that if Jesus really was who He claimed to be, He would NEVER allow a sinner to serve Him.  Christ perceives what His host is thinking and tells a story about a man who forgives two debtors.  One was forgiven a 500 pence debt, the other a 50 pence debt.  The Savior then asks, "Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?"  To which Simon replies, "I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most."

The Savior tells Simon that he is correct.  He points out that, as host, there were some very important duties that Simon had neglected.  This woman, a sinner, filled that role.  He then tells the woman that her sins are forgiven and that she may go in peace.

I love this story.  It is very short and to the point, but is also profoundly deep when looked at more closely.  The Savior knew that this woman would be reviled because of her sins.  The Pharisees are oh so good at finding fault.  Yet the Savior allowed her to serve Him.  And then, later one, He stood up for her and showed that He understood her motives.  

We are all sinners, yet we all should be striving to serve.  How much easier is it to serve when we know people are not questioning our motives?  What if we all decided to think the best of each other instead of trying to place our own motives at the feet of those who serve?  It is a hard thing to do.  We all have opinions, so we all think our way is the best way most of the time.  For myself, this story is a lesson that I need to allow others their agency and serve how they see fit.  When it's my time to serve in the same capacity, I will hope they will afford me the same courtesies.

The other important part I see here is that Christ forgives the woman.  He knew her sins, but He forgave.  Why?  Because of love.  Always love.  Isn't that beautiful?  The Savior loves us SO MUCH that He is willing to forgive us of anything.  We just have to believe in Him and act accordingly.

I ran across a quote earlier today that really struck me.  C.S. Lewis once said, "We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it."  The Savior is our ultimate example in this.  Let us allow others to serve us, and forgive them their weaknesses as they do so.  We ALL have them, right?!  I know I do.  I feel that forgiveness is such an amazing act of service--not only for the one being forgiven, but for ourselves, also.  And it's something we can do to serve every single day!

That is all I have for you today, friends!  So, what do you see in this story about the need to first observe, then serve?  I can't wait to hear your thoughts!  Feel free to email me, comment below, or join our Facebook group.  Do what you are comfortable with!  I'll be back next Tuesday with the next story in this series.  Until then, HUGS and prayers sent your way! :)

P.S.: Please make sure that you keep all comments uplifting and kind.  Assume the best of each other and read all comments in a positive manner.  I truly believe that anyone commenting is only seeking to be understood and heard, not offend. :)

No comments: