Monday, June 07, 2010

Luke 7:36-8:3

Pentecost +3 - Year C

Luke 7:36-8:3

A Rewrite:

"One of the Bible-Law Believers asked Jesus to confirm his way, to come and eat at his table, and Jesus went into the Bible-Law Believer's house and took a place at the table of the Heart of the Law.

And a woman in the city, identified by Biblical Law as a law breaker, having learned that Jesus was moving from acts of compassion to association with those who enforce penalties upon those deemed breakers of Biblical Law, brought a gift from one considered dead. From behind a reclining Jesus, in anticipation of Jesus later following her lead, she bathed his feet with tears and wiped them with her hair; she kissed his feet and anointed them with her whole being.

When the Bible-Law Believer saw this, he muttered to himself, "If this Jesus were a real prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him - a Bible-Law breaker making him unclean by association.

Jesus spoke, "Bible-Law Believer Simon, I have a Testimony for you."

"I'm listening," said Simon.

"A certain creditor had two clients who owed him money; one owing ten times more than the other. When neither could pay the creditor canceled the debts for both of them. Now, which will be more thankful?"

Simon responded, "I suppose the one who owed the most."

"Yes." said Jesus, "That's a Bible-Law response and there are other responses also available."

Turning toward the woman, Jesus continued speaking to Simon, "There has been a dearth of welcome in your Biblical Law way of living. You were interested in my appearing with you but you did not refresh my traveling feet, greet me with a kiss of welcome, or cool my heated head. This woman you claim is a Biblical Law breaker came to welcome me from head to toe with welcoming actions including weeping over my dirty feet and soothing my weary head."

"Therefore," Bible-Law Believer Simon, I see she has forgiven you who sinned against her through your judgment of her and she has covered your lack of welcome. She has shown an expansiveness of love that I will teach to my disciples. I am glad to confirm what she already knows - she is forgiven even before I announce it."

The other Bible-Law Believers, witnessing this event, began to inquire of one another, "Who is this Jesus who forgives those we have judged as a Bible-Law Breaker."

Jesus, turning to the woman, simply said, "Your continued compassion and integrity of identity as a Daughter of G*D is not only your source of wholeness, but a saving act for those who judged against you. Let us go forth with this peace of passing compassion to self and others."

Soon afterwards Jesus went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the Presence of G*D, "All are welcome."

Jesus, the twelve who were with him, as well as additional women with identified integrity of spirit: Mary, called Magdalene, Joanna, the anonymous wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and so many others, went on to raise many more from death in life to life itself through acts of loving-kindness - welcome for all, more grace for those outside Biblical Law, and preemptive forgiveness of self, one another, and others.

This story of a woman of integrity has come down to us through the generations and the promise is that it will continue to echo as we extend her witness in our time.

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