Extravagant Happiness


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

Yesterday at church we had the most wonderful sermon on the anointing of Jesus by a sinful woman. You know, the one where she washes Jesus feet with her tears and dries them with her hair? The phrase extravagant happiness was used and it sort of leapt out at me and made me smile inwardly. What a wonderful thought, that God wants us to be extravagantly happy. Another blogger has posted about finding happiness in the simple things of life. Those moments are wonderful and take us by surprise, but this act of devotion, gratitude, repentance and unalloyed joy was surely life changing for this woman. It was untidy. This was a posh dinner. She was a woman. A woman of ill repute no less. She should not even have had her hair uncovered, much less throwing it all over a holy man's feet! How embarrassing. Have you ever done anything fantastic in a moment of wild happiness?

We were reminded last night that forgiveness is so key to walking closely with Jesus, and were invited to kneel for anointing with oil if we felt that there were people in our lives that we needed to forgive, grudges we needed to let go of. As I waited to be called forward for communion I noticed that almost the whole congregation had responded and were kneeling to receive this oil. As I knelt myself and the priest's hands gently rested on my head, I felt a light joy going through the whole of my body. I layed in bed last night drifting off to sleep and thinking of all the people that I had grudges against, big and small. The list seemed to go on and on so I gave up. Filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit I just prayed, 'Forgive them all, forgive them all, forgive them all!', and went peacefully off to sleep.

Comments

Andrea said…
It is good to see someone posting about their church services. It sounds like you had a wonderful Sunday service and you also received a true blessing.
Once we know forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can then extend forgiveness to others...

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)," Ephesians 2:4,5
Sharon said…
So happy for you :) Sometimes it is so hard to forgive, but once we do there is no greater peace.
I went from sharing about happiness on Sat. to writing about wishing others well, today- which is a way of wanting others to join in on the celebration we're having: we're forgiven, at peace with our Maker, maybe we've even had the best worship service- like you just did- and we went to sleep at night murmuring,
"forgive them all". What a picture of a happy soul held in the hand of God.
There is a saying "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then to realize that prisoner was you." Have a good week. connie from Texas
Rebecca said…
Thank you for visiting my blog - I have just had a quick read through yours and it sounds like you recieve a lot out of your worship times, both corporate and then the times you do things like play the organ (it is not so often that I hear about an organ being played in church anymore, unless I am at the Catherdral (Cantebury that is!)
I shall now go to your other blog and have a look at your pics.....
Forgiveness is required of us who have been forgiven SOOOO much by Him who bore our sins and knew no sin.
Susan
Wanda said…
Oh Mike, that is so interesting, my husband, the Pastor preached on that very subject a few weeks ago!! I love it. Jesus said she would be remember for ever for what she did, and here we are blogging about it! Love your post and sensitivity to spiritual things!
God Bless!! :)

PS I dance in private ((smile))
Rosy said…
Oil? I never hear of oil being use before, although none the less this sounds interesting for some reason to me.

Sometimes I find it hard to forgive others and sometimes it comes easy with me and yet I still do not see how this forgiving others is suppose to make me feel better.
Mike said…
Hi Rosy.

We use oil quite alot in our church. I think it comes a verse in James...

I always find it hard to forgive and need God's grace to do it, but ultimately it sets us free. I think we often carry around bad feelings, with grudges and bitterness, and when you let go you suddenly realise that you had this all the time.

God bless
Wanda said…
Good comentary on Forgiveness Mike in your respones to Rosy. I find the only reason I can forgive others, it because Jesus has so freely forgiven me. What else can I do in response to that kind of love but forgive others, and know the true freedom your mention.

God Bless! :)
Angie said…
Amen, bro. Seventy times seven.
Sidharth said…
Amen, Check out John 20:22-23. It's amazing to know that we are given the Spirit to carry out the ministry of reconciliation. When we fail to forgive someone we are in fact a stumbling block to the ministry of forgiveness.
Robert Morschel said…
14 comments and noone asked how the picture was taken? The photographer obviously has 3 arms - 2 to hold the child, and 1 to take the picture. :-D
Mike said…
If you click on the photo you will be taken to to the Flickr page and all will be explained!