40 Days of Prayer

Day 24: Thanksgiving feast

January 24, 2019

My Image

He who has been forgiven little loves little.
Luke 7:47

From Our “Here”…

She is not on the guest list. For that matter, she would not be invited to any respectable social gathering. She is almost a nonperson.

Somehow she gets past the attendant at the door and moves unnoticed to the room where the guests are enjoying dinner. She hesitates, balls up her courage, and then approaches the Man before anyone can stop her.

What she does next brings the dinner to a standstill. Conversations evaporate. The host and the other guests stare, unsure how to react.

She is now kneeling at the Man’s feet. Her weeping echoes in the silence of frozen small talk. Her tears fall freely, a gentle, heart-wrenching dew that mingles with the dirt from His journey and etches His feet with tiny rivulets of sorrow.

But even this abject humility is not enough. Her hair tumbles from her shoulder, and she begins to wipe His feet clean with one handheld tress and then another. She has brought a jar of perfume, and now she begins to anoint His feet. All the while, she kisses the feet she is cleaning and anointing.
The host sits, incensed. In a mental tirade, he rebukes the Man. Doesn’t He realize this woman is a … ?

With an ear attuned even to thoughts, the Man begins to speak. A great Teacher, He is known for His stories. He succinctly paints a picture of forgiveness that touches sins large and small. In the spaces between His sentences, the truth becomes clear — His Father’s forgiveness is always there, always waiting. The woman has discovered that forgiveness, and her gratitude overwhelms her.

…To God’s “There”

There is no turkey and dressing in this story. No sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, steaming vegetables or ladled gravy. But nearly 2,000 years ago, a Greek physician and Gospel writer named Luke penned one of the most powerful Thanksgiving stories ever told. You can read his narrative in Luke 7:36-50. When you do, take a moment to offer a prayer of thanks.

Jesus’ encounter with and forgiveness of a woman with a wrecked life should motivate His followers to not only reach out with a gospel of hope to all around them, but also to take a personal inventory of everything that providential forgiveness has restored in their own lives. Reading this passage, are you able to honestly put yourself in the woman’s place, recognizing the immense debt of gratitude you owe the Savior? As well, and perhaps more sobering, can you identify traces of pharisaical self-righteousness that tempt you to forget where you came from while quietly applauding where you are today?

Making the Leap

One of the greatest motivators to carrying the gospel to your neighbor across the street or to an unreached people group across the globe is an honest look at how radically saved you really are.

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