An Unexpected Act of Praise: June 12th - 18th

This Week & Beyond...

WORSHIP IN THE CITY!!
Hey everyone, just a reminder that this weekend is Summer in the City!!  In addition to the rides, booths and entertainment, as you may have heard in church, this is the first year that Worship in the City will be moving downtown onto the big stage.  There will be a church service on Sunday @ 10am and a number of bands, one accompanied by our very own Darian Brown(Island Breeze), playing throughout the day.  It's going to be a great day of celebrating the Lord together as a community.  You should most definitely check it out!

Much work was been done in acquiring funds and volunteers to make this day happen.  Let's be in prayer that the Lord impacts Steinbach for His glory!!

APPRECIATION NIGHT!!    
I've sent out the email, please take a moment to respond as to your availability at the appreciation dinner on Sunday, June 25th @ 6pm.  Hope to see you there!!

Gregory...

Devotional...

An Unexpected Act of Praise
by Luane Guyton, St. Louis, Missouri

When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.(Luke: 7:37-38)

Our worship team practice was over. We had learned the new song, nailed down chord changes, and smoothed out transitions. We talked about dynamics, worked on the build of the opening set, and solidified the solo. It was a good practice.

Before heading home, we sat together on our sanctuary floor. Someone handed out Bibles and everyone turned to Luke 7. Taking turns reading aloud, we made our way through verses 36-50. Jesus, in the home of Simon the Pharisee, was reclining at the table. A woman came up behind Him, knelt at His feet and weeping, began to wash them with her tears. She used her hair for a towel and then kissing His feet, she anointed them with perfume.

We tried to imagine what it was like to be there. What if we were reclining at the table with Jesus when this happened? Immediately, we felt uncomfortable. We wondered why. What brought the discomfort?

Someone suggested we throw out words that describe this woman's actions. Maybe we could find a clue to our discomfort in our perception of what she did. Here's what followed:

Authentic -- She didn't try to fake it. 
Courageous -- Scripture tells us she led a sinful life. It's very unlikely she was invited to the dinner party. Crashing it was a brave move. 
Transparent -- She didn't put on airs or try to hide her gratitude.
Personal -- She didn't send someone to act on her behalf. She washed Jesus' feet herself. 
Risky -- A sinful woman in the house of a Pharisee... the risk she took was great. It's possible she could have been stoned.
Active -- She didn't stand back and observe. She acted.
Intentional -- When she heard where Jesus was, she picked up her alabaster jar and intentionally put herself near Him.
Sacrificial -- The perfume was expensive. Some say it cost more than 3 months wages.
Expressive -- Her actions were filled with emotion. 

The words and descriptions above are very positive. So we asked each other again; why the discomfort? We eventually came to the conclusion that it was because this woman was willing to do things many of us were not. Worshiping Jesus was worth everything to her and she demonstrated it by what she did.

It wasn't until after we prayed together that someone noticed the first letter of these words, when in the right order, spelled "Act" and "Praise." We were both challenged and excited by what God revealed to us, and we left desiring to praise our Savior in greater ways.

Maybe you, too, need to be challenged to praise the Lord in greater ways. Is there something in what we saw that makes you uncomfortable, also? It may look differently for you than it did for us, but is there a way He wants to stretch you? Let's ask Him to help us love and praise Him more.

GOING DEEPER: 
1. Tell of a time when God stretched you beyond your comfort zone in worship.
2. As the author asked, is there something in what we saw that makes you uncomfortable, also?
3. How can we encourage this same heart of worship in our team and in the congregation?