Tentmaker Tabletalk

The term "tabletalk" is generally used to describe small talk among friends and associates which sometimes become published perhaps by a member of the table. Martin Luther's tabletalks, collected by some of his beer drinking buddies as they chatted about theological issues and events of the day.

Tentmaker Tabletalk is a collection of thoughts from Gary Amirault, founder of Tentmaker Ministries, that came about through conversing with folks or just meditating or reflecting in front of the keyboard. Just short little snippets of words he didn't want to let go of without putting them into print.

Sinful Woman - 2/12/2013

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.

When 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, and 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. 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."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."

"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."

"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

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. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Luke 7:36-48

Can you imagine yourself doing this? In public? If front of a "righteous person" -- probably in front of several other "righteous" people? Seriously, can you picture yourself on your knees weeping, washing Jesus' feet with your tears and wiping them with your hair (if you have any) and then massaging Jesus' feet with expensive perfumed oil? And Jesus didn't resist.

If the Pharisee, (who was considered very holy and righteous in his religious community) had really seen the depth of his sin, he would have beat her to Jesus' feet. But he was blind to his need. And as a result didn't experience the power of Jesus' forgiveness.

Where are we in this story? Near the Pharisee or on our knees next to the "sinful woman?" Or somewhere in between? How deep is our understanding of our need for the forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world?

December 29, 2006

We sit glued to the television whenever a small person rises up and kills a handful of people at a school or shopping mall. Yet every day all around the world greedy little men and women sit behind big desks making decisions that will topple governments, redistribute natural resources, displace peoples by the hundreds of thousands, kill men, women and children simply to increase the size of their Swiss bank accounts which will be passed onto their kids so they can do the same thing -- and we don't speak a word of protest. We are horrified by the Jeffrey Damers of the world, yet glibbly eat our pizzas as we read or hear people like Madelaine Albright when asked whether the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children through the embargo against Saddam Hussain was worth it replied, "We think the price is worth it." We watch as millions of innocent people go to their early graves from massive bombs dropped electronically from miles away so we don't have to see them people vaporize right before our eyes sent by billionaires and their hirelings -- and we either remain silent or join the parade. And while doing this we claim to believe in a God of justice who will one day judge our thoughts and actions. Open your mouth and say to yourself, "Enough!" That's a good place to start.

October 10, 2006

One person enters a medieval cathedral admiring how the art and architecture that created an atmosphere centering heavenward. Another person reflects on how many thousands of peasants lived a miserable life because their labor and finances, their whole life, went into a building for Princes and Priests who had little regard for the lives of their subjects. Which person was closer to heaven -- the one admiring stones or the one seeing the true cost of the building measured in souls of men?

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