Today’s gospel gives us the example of the woman with the ‘bad reputation’ who makes a public profession of her love for Jesus. She sheds tears of sorrow over his feet, dries them with her hair, kisses his feet and then anoints them with ointment. He says “I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.”
The following is a related mediation from Premier Christian Media and Dr Micha Jazz.
Throughout the gospels Jesus commands us to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. He describes this as ‘The greatest and first commandment’, because until and unless we have surrendered our heart, soul and mind to God, we are in no position to live effectively under God’s authority.
Of course, there are moments of ‘godly behaviour’. Yet these are sporadic responses to the urge to love and serve God that is a consequence of choosing to follow God. However, the core principle is that I surrender my very self to God and turn the whole of who I am over into God’s hands. This doesn’t happen without a fight since my fallen self makes many stands resisting both the will and way of God.
As we walked through the valley of the shadow of death with Katey’s MS, I consistently reacted to the pain and disappointment. My first thought was never to surrender to God’s way. My heart grew bitter, my soul was conscious of our sacrifice and its isolating nature, my mind filled with angry thoughts that expressed themselves through unacceptable behaviours. My own pain, anger and bitterness determined who I was; it also crafted a negative view of God. The last place I sought was that of prayer and contemplation. I was invigorated by my complaint as my instincts told me I was hard done by, was rejected and abandoned by God. This encouraged me to take it out on others and in this way damage myself to the point of destruction.
That journey very nearly led to my complete implosion, but it was God’s way of leading me into a deeper understanding of who I was and how to relate to him. In pain I learned the need to surrender my heart, soul and mind to God. Recognising the need only set me on a path which itself was long and winding. Learning the practice of surrender was challenging at every step.
QUESTION: Take time to review whether you could honestly say you love God with all your heart, mind and soul.
PRAYER: Father God, I surrender again to you my heart, my soul, my mind, my will.