When AJ and I came home from college to get married, the thing I feared the most was facing the friends I knew before I left for Asbury. My friends before God put a call upon my life. These friends were there for me always, don't get me wrong. I always counted on them, but they weren't church-going people. They were the type of friends that I worried about when they didn't answer their phone for 2 or 3 days, because I wondered were they in jail or worse, were they dead.
Now, I came home with AJ, to celebrate the next chapter of my life and to face them a new person. God redeemed my life and made me new again. God recreated me just as he promises he will. God forgave me and made me whole. God granted me a wonderful man who loves me and balanced my emotional days with his calm temperament.
Some of my friends didn't understand the new me, some did. Over the years, I didn't keep in touch with many of them, but they knew that I went on to Seminary to continue to do what God wanted me to do. They knew I returned home to serve a church, just down the street from where I hung out in college.
God has blessed me to watch my friends, by my direction cause, one by one start having a relationship with him, start families, and get their lives straight. I will never know me getting my life on track had anything to do with them, but what I do know is I have never regretted taking the leap of faith and leaving Florida to go to a private Wesleyan college in the middle of nowhere Kentucky.
In many ways, I felt like the woman in our scripture passage this morning when I arrived in Kentucky. I felt out of place, like a fake surrounded by kids who come to school off the mission field or straight out of homeschooled pastor's family houses. They had no life experiences at all. They had barely lived, let alone rededicate their life to God after five years of self-living.
The woman, who is not named in this passage, could have come to see Jesus at any time. She could have waited until he was alone, or with just a few of his disciples. Jesus' movements in the cities he was in were usually well known, so it wouldn't have been difficult for her to find him in a less humiliating place.
She was also putting her life at risk by coming to see Jesus in front of the Pharisees. People have speculated from what little is said in the passage that she was a prostitute. The penalty for prostitution was stoning. Although the Roman empire had removed the power of Pharisees to stone someone to death, they could have still punished her severely.
Yet, she came to Jesus there, in front of everyone, not trying to hide who she was. She didn't fear her past, she didn't fear what people thought of her, all she cared about was Jesus. She came to worship and honor Jesus. No one else mattered.