A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Alabaster Jar

The below is a sermon that I wrote two years ago to preach at while at a brothel in Haiti. I spent weeks researching and praying and feeling nervous over it.
I remember getting to Haiti and they asked me to preach a few days early than planned. I remember panicking because I wasn't ready and was so nervous and intimidated. God was pushing my flexibility and I finally came to terms with following His direction on the mission field and learning to go with the flow and go where God was leading. Luckily the day of my preaching got pushed back to our original date.
My first mistake was that I didn't prepare by printing my sermon before I had left the United States. So there I sat in Haiti with less than five minutes to log onto the internet and copy my sermon notes off line and write them out via bullet points as fast as I could.
The day came to preach the message and it was an hour before and I had knots in my stomach. Literally I felt so sick, shooting pain and I felt like throwing up.
I knew without a doubt that this was spiritual attack. I knew that God was going to move. We began walking into town and towards the brothel.
I remember stepping into the brothel and we were immediately greeted with stares and looks of darkness from the "pimps". There was a lack of disinterest from women as they sat and stared at me and the rest of our group. The women in our group crowded in this little hut that was the "club" of the brothel. Your heart felt so heavy. I was hoping we would lead into worship first but they asked me to preach first. I was surrounded with flies swarming my head and the stenches of the brothel and the noises that surrounded the streets.
I started to preach and it was translated as I went section by section. The women seemed to connect, the tension released. God was moving. As soon as I prayed, we began singing worship and it was the most beautiful sound I had ever head at that time. It was honestly like a choir of angels singing, the weight and heaviness lifted from that tiny room. You could feel God's love and presence and as we sang.

I knew from that moment that when I am doing something in God's will and the devil doesn't want it, that I feel sick to my stomach. Overcome with emotion. It's been my tall-tale sign. Every conversation I've had or decision, I've had to make and I feel that sickness just before I know that the Spirit is about to move, I know that God is about to bless the situation and I began praying for strength and protection from God and rebuking Satan.

Its a beautiful thing to sometimes feel so in tune with God that I know when He is going to bless something in such an unknown way and then to look back on the moment after I have gained that courage to overcome that gut wrenching feeling of spiritual attack and to be like, "Wow, God! You are so good and so amazing. I can't believe you just did that!"

Lord, I pray You continue to give me that discernment to obey Your calling. I pray You give me the courage to keep pushing forward in times of doubt. I pray for protection for the work ahead. I thank You for Your love and grace and for our relationship.

The Sermon:
Imagine with me, a woman. She is running in the night. Running as fast as she can, her heart is pounding within her chest. Her feet are moving so quickly that she can barely keep balance; she almost slips and falls to her face. The sweat drips from her brow but she knew she must get there. She has too because everything and everyone else had failed her. He was her last hope, her only hope. Would it work? Would he know and understand and accept her?

As she ran, in her hand she held a precious stone. A tiny jar filled with oil. She let a sigh of relief that it was still intact, almost in perfect condition since the day she had received it. It was given to her at a young age, meant to be given to one person. Apart of her love and dowry and sharing her life… it was one of the most precious gift that she could give.

She filled her life with many things as she sought to find fulfillment. She desired to be loved and to give her jar away. She was a sinful woman. Sinful like any of us. She had made mistakes, had regrets, had desires and dreams that hadn’t been fulfilled. People in the town knew her and they knew her reputation. They whispered and stared. She felt as though she was unloved, not wanted. She was out of options until she heard about Him.
She had heard of all the amazingly good things that He was doing all over. He was healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, making the lame walk and forgiving sinner. Forgiving sinners. Forgiving sinners is what kept crossing her mind. That was her. She felt as though she was the biggest sinner of them all. But maybe He was the key. The last option. Maybe He could be the one to put together the pieces of her broken heart. Maybe He could make her whole again. He was her only hope, her last hope.

She had made it. She stood outside the door, nervous and anxious she waited. She had heard He would be there at Simon’s. She took a deep breathe in and a deep breath out and composed herself, caught her breath, and wiped the sweat from her face before entering to meet Him. But she questioned herself before entering. Should she really do this? Was He really worthy of the oil in her alabaster jar? It was the only thing of value that she had left in her life. But it was too late to turn back now.

As she entered the room, so many emotions rushed through her and tears began to fill her eyes.
Luke 7:36-50
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 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.
(This was a form of anointment; she was acknowledge him as the Messiah. Also, the kissing of feet and the wiping of tears was opposite of the Pharisees who wanted to sit at the table and be equal. She had a sense that she was unworthy and just wanted to be near him. At His feet was enough for her. It was better than anything she’d experienced before to simply sit at His feet in her presence.)
39 When 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.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then 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. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Can you imagine what this woman was feeling, to enter into a Pharisee's home and approach JESUS with everything she had within her?! Pharisees were extremely prominent people at this time and this woman had a reputation of being a sinner! What would they say about her now??? Could she possible do this? Her emotions pour out as she entered the room, she couldn’t hold back the tears of love and gratitude. With her tears and the oil, she poured out her very heart onto Jesus’ feet while onlookers stared and still talked about her like she was worthless!!! As they dripped onto His feet, she had no tissue or towel to dry her tears from His feet, so she unbound her hair. She forgot everything and everyone except Him.
But her Lord, Jesus Christ, saw her heart, her pain, her shame, and her brokenness; in the midst of all her sin, He saw something beautiful that was worth saving, and that's exactly what He did. He saved her. Can you imagine what life was like for her after that moment? The moment she decided to give it all to Christ, life changed forever.

It causes me to think and reflect on my own life and my heart. Am I “head over heels” in love with Jesus? Do I pour out my very best to Him and lay everything at His feet? All of my hopes and desires and dreams. I encourage us to live each day, giving Him our all knowing that He is plans are far greater and better than we could have ever imagined and knowing that His grace, love, and mercies covers the multitudes of our sins.

My prayer is: Lord, I pray that you would work within my heart and my life to do whatever it takes that I might become as dedicated as the woman who poured out her alabaster jar for you. I pray that we would bring glory and honor to your name and to your son Jesus Christ…

No comments: