Christ came to make us into a new creation. We ceased to resemble what we once were. The essence of Christianity is that each person is given a new script, a new reality, and a new identity. There is a moment when people change. A thief on a cross becomes a guest in paradise. A prostitute becomes an example of divine love. A murderer of Christians becomes the most significant Christian missionary of all time. This week we focus on how the old has passed away and everything has become new!
Guilt is our conscience reminding us that we should have done better. We know we have done something wrong, and we deserve the consequences of our actions. In this week’s message, we learn how Jesus works with a man who felt incredibly guilty when he did what he proclaimed he would never do.
Our life may be stained. We might be ashamed of something we did or something somebody did to us. We might feel guilty over something we did or by something somebody did to us. How do we get rid of that stain of guilt?
Why did a woman with a bad reputation bring expensive perfume and anoint Jesus’ feet with it? There is a back story that Luke is not telling us. What happened earlier in the day? What encounter did Jesus have with this woman? As Pastor Fred explores this story we may find it has transformative effects in our life.
We have all done things we regret. Some of those poorly chosen actions might cause us to feel guilt or shame. How do we get rid of our guilt? How do we remove our shame? Some use drugs, alcohol or over-achievement to mask the guilt only to find it doesn’t work. Christianity offers one thing to overcome the guilt. One thing that no other religion offers.
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on December 24, 2017 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg