September 12, 2017

What’s Under Your Rug?

Luke 7:36-47

I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

—  Luke 7:47

Years ago there was a popular song with a catchy tune called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Its bright melody and simple message could almost convince you that brushing all your worries under a rug and forcing a smile could fill you with happiness.

But true happiness doesn’t work like that. Instead, it’s bundled up with gratitude.

Gratitude is always a response. Gratitude depends not on ignoring what’s going on in our lives, but in choosing to see and accept the deepest reality about our existence. Jesus’ encounter with the woman “who lived a sinful life” demonstrates this beautifully. You see, the Phari­see had swept all of his sins under the rug of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency. He chose to ignore the truth of his bro­ken­ness and his deep need for forgiveness. His ingratitude pro­duced a toxic bitterness that caused him to completely miss the fact that the Savior of the world and of his soul was standing right in front of him.

The woman didn’t miss that. There could be no sweeping of sins under the rug for her. Everyone seemed to know about them anyway. So, acknowledging her brokenness and receiving the forgiveness Jesus offers, her heart and her hands poured out her gratitude.

What’s under your rug? What’s under mine? Let’s bring it out, acknowledge it, and accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers.

Lord, may we overflow with gratitude for your forgiveness of all our sins. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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