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This Easter season, Seeing the Word at Saint John’s School of Theology·Seminary is reflecting on the faces of women illuminated in The Saint John’s Bible. These often overlooked Biblical women exhibit remarkable faith, courage, and love.
Every Monday during the Easter season a short audio-visual reflection focusing on one of these inspiring female figures will be published. Each week will feature a different presenter who will reflect on the Scripture, illumination, and their own experience as a woman.
This week Laura Morgan, graduate of Saint John’s School of Theology·Seminary in Collegeville, MN, shares a reflection on forgiveness and judging others’ sins in “Dinner at the Pharisee’s House” (Luke 7:36-50)
Join us on Facebook (facebook.com/seeingtheword) or at seeingtheword.org for more great reflections and resources!
Dinner at the Pharisee’s House
Jason Engel reflects on the discipleship practice of forgiver and the Illumination “Dinner at the Pharisee’s House” from Luke 7:36-50. Jason Engel graduated from Saint John’s University in 1995 with a degree in Peace Studies, and currently serves SJU as an Ambassador of the Saint John’s Bible. He lives in Streamwood, IL, with his wife and three sons, works as an IT specialist for a global services company, and co-teaches a high school religious education class at the nearby Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin.
By Jessie Bazan
Forgiveness is messy.
How often do I say, “It’s no problem; don’t worry about it,” to a person who’s hurt me — and not really mean it? I’ll make amends with my words, but my heart isn’t always as quick to catch up. It’s like getting a grass stain on a favorite pair of pants. You can wash and bleach, but it takes a while for that tarnished spot to go away.
Hurt can change our fabric — but it doesn’t have to ruin it.
The story of the dinner at the Pharisee’s house shows that infinite good can come from a mess. At the feet of Jesus lies a woman whose sins are well known. This illumination appropriately depicts her with a vibrant clash of colors. Her life is chaotic, and she brings that chaos into the Pharisee’s home. She brings her chaos to Jesus.
And he forgives her.
Illuminated in divine gold are the words, “Her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.” Christ is in the thick of the illumination, balancing the tensions of the dining room scene with the reverence of the woman.
The merciful love of Christ is made known in the mess. It cuts through the hurt.
It weaves our tattered fabric anew.
Jessie Bazan is a Master of Divinity candidate at Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary and serves as the Seeing the Word graduate assistant.
Dinner at the Pharisee’s House, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.