Call to Prayer—November 3, 2020

The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This week, Tuesday, November 3, 2020, our theme is “Equality Before God”

“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.” Luke 7:39

Please read Luke 7:36-50

This is a very well-known Scripture whose narrative highlights a woman who appeared at a house where Jesus was being hosted.  Upon entering, this woman fell at His feet and broke an expensive bottle of perfume. She then went on to anoint Jesus while wiping the Lord’s feet with the tears she shed in His presence.  Quite a spectacle!  But in this “over the top” display, Jesus found some rich soil into which to plant His wisdom.  From this Jesus-encounter, we too can discover the lessons it teaches us all with regards to equality before God.

This narrative reminds us all that even during Christ’s earthly ministry there abounded many of the same illegitimate divisions that man far too often fosters and advances on others for our own positional advantage. These divisions…material, economic, social and even spiritual, are all fully on display before the Lord in Luke 7, even as they are before us all today.  Yet Christ still instructs us all to grasp some eternal truths and lessons that can help propel us all toward true “equality before God.”

Lesson #1:  We Must Begin with the Right Posture

The woman’s posture is unique among those gathered that evening.  This humble posture of kneeling before Jesus highlights that each of us, like the woman kneeling before Jesus, are equal before God in our need for a Savior who can look past the hurts we do to one another (and ourselves!) and forgive us and redeem us.  A recurring theme throughout Scripture is highlighted for us in James 4:6, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  This woman’s prayerful, humble posture was a spiritual declaration that we each are in equal need of Christ’s reconciling and restorative ministry.  Prayer in the Greek is “prosueche” (pro-suke-a), which literally means “towards one’s face.”  Prayer is less about our litany of “asks” or “demands” for the Lord to fix the ills that are so pervasive about us, and more about our posture, and where and to whom our face is turned.  Her “face” was focused upon Christ, and her posture reinforces the truth that our equality before God will always begin humbly in His presence.  It is here, aware of our far too often contributions to the ills about us and grateful to a Lord who always welcomes the humble into His presence, where God’s best work is accomplished. May our prayers be so as we always seek to adopt and model the correct posture before the Lord and we make His presence a non-negotiable when it comes to sharing in His reconciling work in our division-laden world!

Lesson #2:  We Can Foster Wholeness Through Brokenness

An expensive bottle broken.  A waste? An extravagance?  Simply one gift among many?  The lesson this broken vessel teaches us all is that gratitude and brokenness will always go together.  Together they inspire in the believer, by the power of the Holy Spirit, true sacrifice and service that God recognizes. (Romans 12:1-2) It is just as important, a sacrifice He can use. In the vernacular of the day, this woman at Jesus’ feet was the only one present “woke” enough to be broke enough.  The bottle she broke before Christ was symbolic of her recognition that personal brokenness is the gateway to being made whole. Our various nations’ need for wholeness and equality will only appear when broken people, made whole in Christ, powerfully testify and demonstrate Christ’s restorative work. Our responses of gratitude, service and sacrifice towards others and for Christ should always propel us each to direct attention to the Lord and the wholeness He came to make possible.

Lesson #3:  We Are Invited to Change the Atmosphere

The perfume was for Jesus, but the act of anointing His feet had an impact beyond just the Lord.  Everyone present was impacted. It changed the entire atmosphere of the environment and it impacted everyone who was around. It impacted even the detractors and those who just didn’t understand. Yet, it still impacted them! May that be our testimony. May people see and experience our acts of service unto the Lord and may our impacts of ministry seeking the welfare and dignity of every soul change the atmosphere and ultimately, the lives of those we in the AFReG Community have committed ourselves to serve.

Jesus’ encounter, recorded for us in Luke 7, serves to remind us each that even though men and women are equally created in God’s image, our separation from Him makes us all equally in need of His redeeming intervention. For those that have equally partaken of His amazing forgiveness and offered grace, it is to them then who are equally gifted by God’s Spirit for service in bringing all to Jesus where true equality can be experienced.

PRAYER:

  1. May we each position ourselves before the Lord, in humility and thanksgiving, and share in His continuing ministry that all may equally receive forgiveness, healing and grace in their time of need.
  2. We pray that we who have been made whole by Christ’s presence, will not forget the brokenness we have experienced and the wholeness of soul and spirit we have equally experienced through Christ.
  3. May the presence of Christ be ever before us in our lives and ministry, ever propel us to “change the atmosphere” of our marriages, families, societies and nations as we pursue His desire for all to equally experience heaven’s grace.

Search

Recent Posts

AFReG Devotions—1 September 2022

The power and means to change: The Church I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,

Read More »

AFReG Devotions—16 August Devotions

What Manner of People Ought We to Be? Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15-16 Mark 1:15-16, “…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” One of Christ’s central teachings during His earthly ministry focused upon “the

Read More »

AFReG Devotion—26 July 2022

THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE POWER TO CHANGE When it comes to the things of the spirit, the Father initiates, the Son implements and the Holy Spirit empowers or capacitates the process. That’s why blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin, push Him away and you have no capacity to get back to God.

Read More »

AFReG Devotional—12 July 2022

THE POWER AND MEANS TO CHANGE: THE WORD OF GOD The Word of God is powerful because it is the declaration of Almighty God who created all that exists and continues to work out His purposes for the good of all of creation. God commanded creation into existence by His Word (Genesis 1). Spiritual re-creation

Read More »

AFReG Devotional—29 June 2022

2 Timothy 4:1-2; Luke 12:43 In the Apostle Paul’s 2nd letter to his “beloved son” Timothy, Paul solemnly charges him, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who will judge those who are alive, and those who have died, to do the following: Be ready in season—when the “time is right;” and out

Read More »

Call to Prayer—December 29, 2020

The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This Tuesday, December 29th 2020, our theme is “Thanksgiving.” The will of God regarding “Thanksgiving” is very clear in Scripture. He desires it and

Read More »

Call to Prayer—December 22, 2020

The African Forum on Religion & Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on issues that contribute to Africans Arising Together in the 21st Century.” This week, Tuesday, December 22, 2020, our theme is “Joy and Peace.” Christmas is a time when we remember the birth of

Read More »

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.