tyle='margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt'>May God’s word be spoken and God’s word be heard – in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – Amen
In the reading that I just read we had story that happened in the life of Jesus
It had three main characters – Jesus – Simon, a Pharisee – and a woman that had no name but was said to be a sinner
It is a very interesting story and teaches us a lot about God
And teaches us a lot about God’s love
Now Jesus is invited to a special dinner – and in fact he likely the guest of honour
We know that because Simon the Pharisee, whose house it was and who was hosting the dinner calls Jesus – Rabbi – which means teacher and in Hebrew culture this is one of the most respected roles
Now before the dinner party gets very far along - a women who is not invited to the dinner – crashes the party and come right over to Jesus
She is very emotional and is crying and with her tears – with the water from her eyes she washes Jesus feet and then pours oil on Jesus’ feet to care for him
In those times – people did have cars, they didn’t have planes, they didn’t have trains, they didn’t have bikes – they walked everywhere… and they walked in sandals
They even didn’t have running shoes like we do. Which cover our feet pretty well
So their feet got really dirty – in fact it was basically the dirtiest thing on their whole body
Now-a-days we worry more about our hands and wash our hands a lot to help stop the spread of disease
So, back when Jesus walked in this world, when guests arrived at someone's home, especially after a journey, the host usually provided a basin and water for the guests to wash their own feet before sharing the meal.
Sometimes the host might have slaves, and a slave was virtually the only one who could be expected to wash and anoint the feet of another person....
Washing or anointing the feet of another person remained identified with slavery.
Because of this understanding, those who voluntarily washed someone else's feet showed they were devoted enough to act as that person's slave....
So when this woman, we only know as a sinner – or as a sinful person, washed Jesus feet – not only was she crashing the dinner party, but she was acting as if she was Jesus’ slave
Why do you suppose she did that?
Well to answer that lets look at who she was…
First we don’t really know – we don’t know her name, we don’t know much about her
All we really know is that she is called a sinner
Do you know what a sin is?
Well lots of people have lots of ideas what a sin is
There are some really close – or know some part of the way of describing what sin is
The easiest answer that I can give you is – a sin is something, either a thought (something that you think), or word (something that you say) or deed (something that you do) that is against God’s desire for you
Now you might be wondering what is God’s desire for you
And the shortest answer for that is God told us all about how He wanted us to behave in the Bible
If you read the bible and hear from God’s word and prayer to God – you will understand what you should and shouldn’t do
One of the most common parts of the bible that people look to, to understand God’s desire for us is the part that has the Ten Commandments – in fact God wanted to make sure we heard these that it’s in there twice
Does anyone know some of the Ten Commandments?
In the Bible in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans it says … All have sinned & come short of God’s glory. – ALL have sinned
Now remember what I said was the definition of SIN?
Sin is a Thought, Word or Deed against the Law of God.
But you might be wondering... is there BIG sin & little sin ??
If someone asks you if they look pretty in what they’re wearing, and you say yes, even though you think it’s ugly – is that LIE a little sin compared to someone in court, who has promised on the Bible to tell the truth?
Or if you steal a 25c piece of candy, is that a LITTLE Sin compared to someone who robs a store?
In Old Testament times, before Jesus, when people did things the Lord told them not to do, they had to make an offering to God at the temple. And they had to do this over and over.
In the New Testament, the Bible tells us that when Jesus died, he offered his sacrifice once and for all time.
So let’s look at our examples again…wouldn’t you agree that ....a LIE, big or small is still a LIE …
and stealing something small or LARGE is still stealing
and according to the 10 Commandments that’s WRONG ! ! !.
So any sin is the same. They are not BIG or small... they’re SINS!
And Jesus died to overcome that sin – ALL sin.
So what do we need to do when we SIN?
The Bible tells us that if we’re sorry for the things we do, we can confess our sins
and what Jesus did on the cross cleanses us from those sins
And in fact we do that every Sunday – every Sunday we all confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness – and God is good and promises us that we are forgiven
Now remember from our story of the woman that was only known as a sinner
Remember how she washed Jesus’ feet with her tears
Well Jesus gave us a good little story, we call a parable, on how to understand her behaviour – He said to Simon the Pharisee
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said. Luke7:41-43
Here is another story that might also help you understand
John was a boy about the age of some of you. One day he was playing with a friend who let him ride his new bicycle. It was a very nice bicycle -- probably a lot like this one that we have here today.
After riding the bicycle for a while, John got off and parked it behind a car in the driveway.
John and his friend got so busy playing that they forgot all about the bicycle.
After a while, the woman who owned the car came out of the house and got into the car. She started the engine and began to back out of the driveway.
You can probably guess what happened. "CRUNCH!" The sound was unmistakable.
Without looking, both boys knew what had happened.
The woman had backed over the bicycle. All that remained was a pile of twisted metal.
The woman jumped out of her car and began to apologize. "I am so sorry. I didn't see the bicycle. I will gladly pay for a new one."
What a relief! John's worries were over -- except for having to tell his father. John didn't want to tell his father what had happened, but he knew he would find out anyway.
When he told his father what had happened and that the woman who ran over the bicycle was going to buy his friend a new one, the father said, "No way, she didn't do anything wrong. You are the one who left the bicycle in the driveway, so you are the one who is responsible."
John's heart sank. He didn't have the money to pay for the bicycle. He only had a couple of dollars in his piggy bank.
But he knew he had to tell his father anyways, and so he did
John's father looked at him and said, "Son, we all make mistakes. I know you are sorry for what you have done and that you don't have the money to buy your friend a new bicycle. I will pay for the bicycle."
John ran to his daddy, put his arms around his neck, and with tears running down his cheeks, he whispered in his daddy's ear, "Thank you, daddy. I love you!"
That is a good picture of why the woman in our story from the bible today was crying and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears
She really needed God’s forgiveness a whole lot – in fact she was simply identified as a sinful woman
And that is a good picture of what our Heavenly Father has done for us.
We all make mistakes -- the Bible calls them sins.
The Bible tells us that our Father loved us so much that he sent his only Son to die on the cross to pay for our sins.
There is no way that we could ever repay him for what he has done for us.
All we can do is say, "Thank you" and try to show him how much we love him.
Let’s pray together – and today not just the children, but would everyone please join me
Thank you God – we have sinned – but you have forgiven us - thank you
We will do our best – to live like you want us to – in our thoughts – words – deeds