Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara Woods-Washington 2014

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Luke’s use of Faith has been used by the world’s greatest preachers as a life message with numerous lessons. As a part of Lectionary Studies, it has been used across the years by the Church to teach perhaps the Gospel’s greatest example of forgiveness of sin. Feminist Theologians have written commentary on this text to examine this woman’s place in the ministry of the Church. Gospel music artists have ‘sung’ this woman’s place into the hearts of Christendom. It is a passage of scripture so poetic in content that ‘A Sinful Woman Forgiven’ requires a reading of the text in it’s entirety. Hear now the Word of The Lord from Luke 7:36-50:

“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 cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’

Then turning towards 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.”

Weird? Strange? But, a long time coming, this Change. Presently in the American Culture is the ever growing charge of ‘sexual harassment’. I know. I know. How did I get here? The sin, the sins of women have ALWAYS been directly related to The Carnal; with all of it’s molestations, rapes, abuses and all. It appears NOW that the ‘Success By Way Of The Couch’ culture is being pierced! The “shuuuuush, don’t tell… anybody” Dam has sprung a leak! Water… everywhere. Each day, a new perpetrator is being named. The pain, the tears, the silence… The Truth!

CeCe sings about This Faith this way: “The room grew still as she made her way to Jesus. She stumbles through the tears that made her blind. She felt such pain, some spoke in anger. Heard folks whisper, ‘there’s no place here for her kind.’ Still on she came, through the shame that flushed her face until at last she knelt before His feet. And though she spoke no words, everything she said was heard. As she poured her love for the Master from her box of Alabaster.

I’ve come to pour my praise on Him like oil from Mary’s Alabaster Box. Don’t be angry if I wash His feet with my tears and I dry them with my hair. You weren’t there the night He found me. You did not feel what I felt when He wrapped His love all around me. And, you don’t know the cost of the oil…”

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Column #558: Reprint #70 – Jun 18, 2008