This Sunday we move deeper into our worship series ‘First Loves,’ remembering the time a righteous Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to dinner but went out of his way not to welcome him, because the invitation was not about friendship or hospitality. It was Simon’s opportunity to size Jesus up and put him in his place. Nobody said anything, but everybody knew what was going on.
I’ve been to parties that felt like that, I’ve even been to churches like that. Where everyone says the right words, and everything looks beautiful, and no one dares to tell the truth about anything.
But then a sinful woman broke into that righteous man’s party. Everyone knew who she was and none of them wanted her there. Except Jesus. She broke in–because she knew that anyplace Jesus was, was a place she belonged–and she brought love and generosity and freedom with her.
In this season we return to the Lord, not our building or our righteous routines. And this story reminds us that the people we most want to shut out are the very people who teach us how to belong.