Saturday, March 24, 2012
defender and friend
Lord, I am like Mary Magdalene: defend me when the proud Pharisee is indignant; meet with me when the world would have me work for your company.
Mary had clearly sinned: she committed adultery. The Pharisees fixated on how she should be punished. She must learn her lesson.
You have clearly sinned, too. Yes, you are not perfect. Others around you know this, too. Your sin is no secret and some of them are concerned with how you should be punished. “We must show people the right way to live. We must take sinning seriously.” They think this with good reason. So, they think they know how to teach you a lesson, to put you right.
Jesus knows how to put you right. It’s a better way than the way of the Pharisees. It’s a way called forgiveness. Suddenly, forgiveness fills your life with new possibilities. You have a second chance. There is hope. You’re free now and he’ll defend you even though it doesn’t seem right or fair to others. Hide in the shadow of his defense. His shadow is grace.
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while her sister worked. The sister was frustrated with Mary.
There are those who think you don’t do enough for Jesus. The way you relate to God seems too easy to them. They’re concerned you’re getting off scott-free. By their estimation you talk too much about grace. There is always a “yes, but” when the topic comes up. “Yes, but we do play a part,” they insist. They say this because they are worried you will get carried away with grace. It doesn’t seem right or fair to them.
Pay them no mind: just get carried away with Jesus because he wants to carry you away with grace. And that will be enough, the only needful thing. Jesus is listening.
“Neither do I condemn you.” —John 8:11
“Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better.” —Luke 10:42