Come As You Are - Sunday 10/31
If you are new to our church and thought to yourself this morning ‘What was that?’ That was a God thing! He raised the roof today. I took a few moments to observe the dynamics of His presence in the house – the Holy Spirit was working on so many different levels throughout the entire church. Pastor Randy was prayerfully anticipating this – he felt that the Lord had plans for not one, but many people. Indeed. He looked forward to being back from vacation and said it all builds up to this one day. It may be just two hours on this one day a week that we all gather together, but it changes lives forever! Ephesians 2:21-22 says: ‘In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit’. If you did not make it to church and have not yet seen the video, please take the time to see it.
Pastor Randy shared a very passionate message today taken out of Luke 7:36-50 about Jesus being anointed by a sinful woman. He said “If you think it would be difficult for her today, move it back 2,000 years ago when a woman couldn’t vote, couldn’t own property or testify in an open court, where she herself could be considered property of her father or husband. Imagine what her life was like – how damaged, broken and brutal it was. That is the woman we meet in Luke 7”. She was known as a ‘woman of the city’ and had a bad reputation.
Jesus was invited to eat at a Pharisee’s home in the town where this woman lived. So, here is Jesus reclining at the table in the company of religious men, when the woman enters with an expensive flask of oil, she is overcome and begins weeping (the footnote in my Bible says that weeping can be an expression of sorrow and grief, or of grateful love of Christ and God values these tears as an offering of service to him), wetting his feet with her tears. She then wipes his feet with her hair, kisses them and puts oil on them and is overcome with awareness of her sinful nature. “It is true for her as it is for you and me, the closer we get to Jesus, the more sinful we recognize ourselves to be”, said Pastor. Do you think she was welcomed in this Pharisee’s home? Not a chance! “She walks to the door, and into the house. Can you see her? Nervous and ashamed, not wanting to make eye contact…she may be shaking and she walks into a room filled with ‘holy’ men…and they all know of her”, he said. Pastor noted that when he started in Luke he did not anticipate that one of the major themes throughout the book is it shows how awful ‘religion’ is, and how cruel ‘religious’ people can be. Simon (the Pharisee) was saying that if Jesus were a prophet he would know who was touching him – that she is a sinner. “But now in this home Jesus meets her as a humble, repentant, generous and passionate worshiper – someone who is not invited but knows how to worship”. Jesus turns to the woman and says “Your sins are forgiven”.
“I’ve said it before, let people come to church no matter what state they’re in, because if we can get them into the presence of God, God’s presence can change them”, said Pastor Randy. “This is where I want us this morning; humble, repentant, generous and passionate worshipers. You cannot get there unless you surrender everything you have – heart, mind and soul. When you get to the place to where your everything belongs to the One who gave everything for you, then you will become that humble, repentant, generous and passionate worshiper”.