I was teaching Sunday school the other week. I’m doing a series on women in the Bible, and this week, I was looking at the woman who annointed Jesus with the perfume in Luke 7:36-48. Whenever I teach, I try to pull out things we can apply to our own lives. One of the things that stood out to me in this story was that the woman, who is described in verse 37 as “a woman in the city who was a sinner,” went into a Pharisee’s house where she was probably NOT welcome.


The word sinner in this context indicates someone who lived a habitual life of sin. The common belief was that this woman was a prostitute, but it also possible that she was in debt or married to a tax collector as those were also considered a life style of sin. Whatever her particular habitual sin was, it was very clear that Simon the Pharisee was NOT happy to see her, especially as she brazenly interrupts a meal.

Like Simon’s home, sometimes, our churches are not places where sinners feel welcome. Instead, we put on our plastic smiles and pull out our spiritual responses. This atmosphere of spiritual having it all together doesn’t always invite people who feel broken and messy.


As I shared this lesson what I thought we could take from this story, a lady in my class said that maybe it was because people didn’t think they could find Jesus in our churches. Her comment resonated with me, and I nodded my head in agreement.

Then I heard God’s soft voice in my ear, “You ARE the church.”

It is all too easy for me to point my finger at the collective Church and point out its inefficiencies and where it is weak and where it needs improvement. It’s easy for me to feel self-righteous and superior because I see the flaws in the Church as a body.

But here’s the deal,  if people don’t see Jesus in my church, then that means, they aren’t seeing Jesus in me. 


Yeah – ouch! What draws people to church is not usually the church itself, but the people they know that attend that church. If a lost person is searching, and they see in you Jesus shining through, then they might then seek Jesus in the place where you worship.

Do I think the Church in America is perfect? No.

Do I think we, as a corporate body could do better? Yes.

Do I think that individual churches have a personality and culture? Yes.

But, the failure of the Church as a whole is a result of the failure as Christians as individuals. It’s not up to our pastors or church staff to reach out to the lost. It’s not up to the Sunday School Superintendent to love our co-workers or neighbors.

It’s up to us!


As the Church is often described as a body, let me use this analogy. If I ate really crappy food, only drank soda and never exercised, could I then blame my body when it can’t run a marathon? That would be crazy right?

We are meant to work as one unit. We each have a gift, a calling and a mission field (yes, even if that means you never leave the neighborhood you were born in!).

While I totally get what that member of my Sunday school class was trying to say and even agreed with her, I also found myself once again convicted about how I spend my every day life and asking the question, How am I drawing those around me to Jesus?

I’d love to hear how you live out the Great Commission in your daily life! Please feel free to share so we can all learn from each other!

Blessings, Rosanne


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