Family Liturgies

The Sweet Scent of Love and Forgiveness

il_570xN.283491360_largePreparation:

Light a scented candle or spray your favorite air freshener, cologne, or perfume before reading this week’s family devotional. (Incense works, too.)

Centering Litany:

God’s extravagant love binds us together as a family.
Long before we were aware of this, God knew us.
He chose us, even with all our flaws and shortcomings, to be His children.
Having chosen us, he called us;
Having called us, he justified us;
Having justified us, he gave us his glory!
What extravagant love is this!
We are truly blessed!

 

Scripture: Luke 7:36-8:3 (The Message)

Memory Verse: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9

 

Reflection:

Forgiveness is not an easy thing. Not only do I know this from personal experience, I just recently saw it played out in my daughter’s 3rd grade class. One girl wronged another and a fury of not so nice notes passed between them and then shared with the multitudes. The teacher does what he thinks is right by making the one girl apologize to the other, who is encouraged to accept the apology. Apology accepted or not, there is no forgiveness. In fact, a great divide happened between the girls in the class with even some of the boys taking sides. What went wrong? Why wasn’t there forgiveness?

I think we learn a lot about forgiveness from this story and others, in which Jesus demonstrates forgiveness of sin.

1) Jesus has this amazing ability to look beyond the wrongful action and look at the person’s heart.
What does it mean to look at someone’s heart?

2) Jesus allows the person to express their feelings. In this case, he allowed the woman to shower him with gratitude.
What could have happened if the teacher allowed the space and time for the two children to express how they were feeling?

3) Jesus never gave a “how to” lesson on forgiveness, rather he modeled it, especially on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” –Luke 23:34
How do you role model forgiveness?

4) The radical love this woman receives from Jesus leads her to extravagantly give herself back to him.
What does our example of love and forgiveness demonstrate?
Does our love and forgiveness show the world we are followers of Christ?

 

Spiritual Practices:

During the week, show that you are a follower of Christ by demonstrating selfless love and forgiveness.  and/or

The woman is this story showed her gratitude by cleaning Jesus’ feet. Collect toiletry items for the homeless shelter in your town.

 

Prayer:

Extravagant God, thank you for lavishly pouring your grace over our dirty bodies. Continue to fill our community, our homes, and our daily lives with Your sweet fragrant love. May the aroma remind us to forgive others as you have repeatedly forgiven us. Amen.

–by Jennifer DiFrancesco

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s