Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[Thursday] Lenten Evening Prayer at Emmanuel Lutheran Church: The Promise of Seeing God

None of the usual folk could be there that Thursday, so we had some pinch-hit folks -- who had never attended, so by their own admission they were winging it.  Went fairly well, though.  And it started with a long period of silence, which I had much love for.

Scripture Readings:

Exodus 33:12-23
12 Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people."

14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

17 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."

18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."

19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

21 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."
Luke 7:36-50
36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
      "Tell me, teacher," he said.

41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[A denarius was a coin worth about a day's wages.] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
      "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we are like the Pharisee who begrudged your forgiveness of the sinful woman.
Yet, we are also like her and in great need of your grace,  Give us humility that we can hear your word of forgiveness, receive from you pure humility that we can hear your word of forgiveness, receive from you pure hearts, and - one day - see you face to face.  Amen.


The dialogue kind of stumbled along.  The actors weren't bad at all, but the script they were given . . . well, it's a difficult balance between "only the pure in heart will see God" and "by God's grace and mercy, some of us can in fact go to Heaven."  The analogy was a spot on a tablecloth or sweater and covering it up, Bible quote: "clothed in righteousness."  I am much more comfortable with the whole "washed whiter than snow" metaphor.  I did enjoy the whole "Hey, compared to Moses -- murder, disobeying a direct order from God, etc. -- you're not doing too badly, so don't be too hard on yourself" bit.
Tags: church: e.lutheran: thursday service, lent: 2006: lutheran: beatitudes
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