Luke 7:38,50 - Standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (ESV)

I was in a queue at a set of traffic lights in town. We were stationary, so I looked expectantly towards the red lights in front of me, when a movement in the car in front of me caught my eye. It turned out to be a woman who had leaned across to get up close and personal with her passenger: intimate. I thought that it must be love. One comes upon exhibitions of young parting lovers making public declarations of affection. I can remember being like that once.

Anyway, the lights being still on red, and my being inquisitive, I watched this tableau being played out before me. Soon, I realized that the person on whom the woman was sooo intent, was not her partner; no, it was her toddler son! Presumably, he was in a booster seat, which raised his head up to an adult level. She was inspecting his face, then cleaning it, and fussing over him, prior to dropping him off at the nursery around the corner.

I was not wrong, I thought; it was love! Then, the following words drifted into my consciousness: "coming towards as if to kiss". Yes, I had been ambushed by God again. Proskuneo, the Greek word for "worship" in the New Testament, means just that. I am no Greek lexicon; I had to look it up to find it again. It is not an amorous encounter, but rather one of trust, love, deference, respect, and intimacy -- like Mary Magdalene's uninhibited attention to Jesus in today's Scripture.

As Creator, God longs to be close with His children, just as this mother was with her son. The question is whether we will allow Him to get up close and personal. He needs to be close enough so He can clean us up, make us presentable, encourage us, and then send us out!

Are we ready to be open to Him in reverence today, even up close?

Prayer: Lord, You are awesome and terrible, holy and majestic, yet You are also jealous of our worship, obedience, and love. So, with bended knee and humble hearts, we say "Come!" Visit us once more today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Rod Marshall [email protected] 
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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