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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Forigve much. Love much.





6/12

Leila's work this week


Back in New York City….

Since last we were together…

I spent  a week at home connecting with my roots…I performed a wedding for the son of a high school friend. I played two with  someone from a church I worked at 22 years ago, before I came here…we hadn’t seen each other since…I visited that church that had loved through a painful divide caused by our denomination’s opening the door to marriage equality…still remaining were a faithful remnant. And now with many of the most conservative and rigid (and mean!) churches having  left, a new day is possible..for church …and presbytery…

Muhammad Ali died…one of the heroes of my young adult days. To follow the arc of his career, you pass from the first in your face athlete to beloved American icon. Thankfully, he was  fittingly celebrated in Louisville, his home town.  His picnic perception changed from that of “coward” to having his courage recognized. Ali belonged to the world. And the  Ali Center in Louisville  today is not only a museum but also an active working conflict resolution center…

Our theme today is forgiveness. And love. We begin with the story of the woman at  the dinner. During Lent, e ahd the same story from John’s perpective and the woman was Mary. Luke has an unnamed woman from the streets. In John, the emphasis is on extravagant love. Intimacy.

Here…it’s the power of forgiveness….and love…

Jesus places her in C=comparison with Simon.  Can we blame him? He’s advising Jesus. Helping him come up with a good business plan. A solid plan for organizational growth. What Jesus is condoning here just doesn’t look good. The woman is the wrong kind of person.  Much needed people will be turned off. Hard decisions have to be made..if the church is to survive…

BUT for Jesus …it’s all about love. She was forgiven more, therefore loves more….

In the Ali story,  not sure who or what is “forgiven”…perhaps it’s us. Do you recall Ali’s rescue  of  15 hostages in Iraq? …and ultimately the  moving moment with him being the final torch lighter for the 1996 Olympic torch…

At the wedding, I sat beside someone who had been president of  youth fellowship. Deeplu involved in scouts. An then became involved in a teen pregnancy. CVould happen to anyone. But he was treated like an  outlaw. And kind  of became one. Today in his sixties , he’s still got shoulder length curly locks. He’s been doing environmental law in West Virginia. The round grandma beside me. On the otherside was the woman in high school with the scarlet letter. Real life is never perfect ,but always has its beauty. In us just being human. Our lives are sacred and full of meaning.

I guess the message here is ultimately about grace…

What do we need to receive? And from whom?
What do we need to extend? And to whom?
Forgive much. Love much….feel your forgiveness. Love more.

Forgive much. Love much

Luke 7:36-8:3 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him--that she is a sinner." Jesus spoke up and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Teacher," he replied, "Speak." "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt." And Jesus said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." Then he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources


 

Back in New York City….

Since last we were together…

I spent  a week at home connecting with my roots…I performed a wedding for the son of a high
school friend. I played two with  someone from a church I worked at 22 years ago, before I came here…we hadn’t seen each other since…I visited that church that had loved through a painful divide caused by our denomination’s opening the door to marriage equality…still remaining were a faithful remnant. And now with many of the most conservative and rigid (and mean!) churches having  left, a new day is possible..for church …and presbytery…

Muhammad Ali died…one of the heroes of my young adult days. To follow the arc of his career, you pass from the first in your face athlete to beloved American icon. Thankfully, he was  fittingly celebrated in Louisville, his home town.  His picnic perception changed from that of “coward” to having his courage recognized. Ali belonged to the world. And the  Ali Center in Louisville  today is not only a museum but also an active working conflict resolution center…

Our theme today is forgiveness. And love. We begin with the story of the woman at  the dinner. During Lent, we had the same story from John’s perspective and the woman was Mary. Luke has an unnamed woman from the streets. In John, the emphasis is on extravagant love. Intimacy.

Here…it’s the power of forgiveness….and love…

Jesus places her in comparison with Simon.  Can we blame him? He’s advising Jesus. Helping him come up with a good business plan. A solid plan for organizational growth. What Jesus is condoning here just doesn’t look good. The woman is the wrong kind of person.  Much needed people will be turned off. Hard decisions have to be made..if the church is to survive…

BUT for Jesus …it’s all about love. She was forgiven more, therefore loves more….

In the Ali story,  not sure who or what is “forgiven”…perhaps it’s us. Do you recall Ali’s rescue  of  15 hostages in Iraq? …and ultimately the  moving moment with him being the final torch lighter for the 1996 Olympic torch…

At the wedding, I sat beside someone who had been president of  youth fellowship. Deeply involved in scouts. An then became involved in a teen pregnancy. Could happen to anyone. But he was treated like an  outlaw. And kind  of became one. Today in his sixties , he’s still got shoulder length curly locks. He’s been doing environmental law in West Virginia. The round grandma beside me. On the other side was the woman in high school with the scarlet letter. Real life is never perfect ,but always has its beauty. In us just being human. Our lives are sacred and full of meaning.

I guess the message here is ultimately about grace…

What do we need to receive? And from whom?
What do we need to extend? And to whom?
Forgive much. Love much….feel your forgiveness. Love more.

Forgive much. Love much

Luke 7:36-8:3 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him--that she is a sinner." Jesus spoke up and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Teacher," he replied, "Speak." "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt." And Jesus said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." Then he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources


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