Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Undignified Faith

Sunday afternoon we studied about the sinful woman in Luke 7. You remember the story, Jesus is dining with the Pharisee, Simon. I imagine Simon had pulled out all the stops to entertain this young rabbi who was causing such a religious tir in the region. I imagine Simon and any other guests were on their very best behavior, wanting to impress this teacher with so many disciples. I imagine there was much pomp and formality, everyone wearing their best clothes and carrying on intelligent conversations full of many flowery words. (Isn't this just like the Pharisees?)
Suddenly this woman, a local, with a reputation for sinful behavior, crashes the dinner party. In an undignified show of faith, this uninvited guest begins to make a scene. She falls at Jesus' feet weeping so much that she is washing His feet with her tears. As if noticing the dampness, she begins drying His feet with her hair. It would have been so much easier to leave or to still her weeping, but she does not. Perhaps she is unable to stop crying and the thought of leaving didn't cross her mind. Perhaps she cannot tear herself away from the feet of the Teacher. She continues with her disruptive show of faith, a show so different from what Simon and his Pharisee friends are used to. Simon is ready, almost eager for Jesus to rebuke this woman. But, Jesus does not, rather in a parable, He praises her undignified, unstructured worship and forgives her sins.
After hearing Ned speak on this parable, I began to think about this woman and I began to think about us. I know the text says we are to worship in an orderly manner. I know our God is not a God of chaos. But I also know how stiff we have become in our worship. I know that too often we are like Simon, judging those who show their faith in a less than dignified way, a way contrary to ours. We have a way we worship and we have become so good at it that we can even do it without thinking. The zeal we felt when we came out of the waters of baptism has been replaced by a concern for the dignified. I wonder if this sinful woman ever stifled her faith, did she ever swallow an "amen" or choke down a "praise God"? Did she ever force herself to stand very still willing herself to not respond to the invitation? Did she worry that others might think her a fanatic? I don't think so.
I hear and see all the comments about changes in worship. I too, want to worship in a way that pleases my Father. And so, I have been studying Jesus' words to those who came to worship Him. This account is representative of others. From them we learn, Jesus did not care about dignity, He lowered Himself and became sin for us so that we might be righteous. Jesus cared about heart worship. He wants to feel our hearts in the movings of our hands, He wants to hear our hearts in the words of our mouth, He wants to see our hearts in the tears of our eyes. And so, while I want to be orderly, I wonder if we have stifled, swallowed and choked down our faith too much?

Neva

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog about a week ago and have been reading them. I am very interested in God , I dont really understand the bible. I have lots of questions. This doesn't seem the appropriate venue for a bible discussion. Any suggestions?

KSL

10:07 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

What an awesome question KSL. You are definitely asking the right person!
Neva, you are right, we do need to re-evaluate.
Kathy

10:24 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

KSL and Neva,

As far as I'm concerned any place is an appropriate place for Bible discussion. I know Neva well enough that she has responded with a desire to address any question you have. I don't want you to feel pressured by so many other bloggers. But, I do want you to know that we are all on a journey and it is awsome to share that journey with others. If you and Neva want to have a private conversation cool. Just know I, and many others I know, are willing to share in whatever format you feel most comfortable with.

James

10:37 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

KSL,
I would be delighted to discuss with you. I may not know answers to all your questions but I will study with you until we find them. Please email me at nevaecooper@yahoo.com.
I am praying for you already.

Neva

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I am praying for you and KSL. KSL, keep seeking, God will give you the answers you need. Hope to see you again in the blogspher,

Pat

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this one. I think worship gets so stiff and formal because of man made rules and not Gods.
Good job.

Jean

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers for all who seek and all who help find.

Dan

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too often we forget that there is nothing dignified about sin and teh only dignity we have comes from being the child of the King

Enjoyed the post,

Carlos

8:39 AM  
Blogger massivetruth said...

It reminded me of this:

"I will dance
I will sing,
to be mad
for my king....
I'll become even more
undignified than this!"

And its true. When we forget ourselves and those who surround us, worship becomes an audience of one to the point of losing ourselves. The effect is staggering to those around us. They either embrace the moment and admire you for the way you worship, or they utterly reject it for the familiarity they are most comfortable with.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! I especially liked the part when you said we get so good at it we can almost do it without thinking. That is very diagnostic about what is wrong with out churches. Maybe we don't need to change the times of worship, the methods of worship or the leaders of worship. Maybe we just need to change the spirit with which we worship. What do you think?

Dean

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are dead on. This is so true and this is one of the reasons we are losing so many of our youth. We talk about loving God but worship like it is an obligation rather than a love driven priviledge. Great post, one of your best.

Eileen

8:10 PM  

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