Woa, I wasn’t aware I knew of Hozier since 2015… and my thoughts about faith, guilt and forgiveness more important than ever in this world of bigots and wall builders!
This poem is inspired by the upcoming Easter celebration and Hozier’s song “Take me to Church”. The line I am referring to is: “I tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife”
As I said in one of my earlier posts, I am thinking a lot about shame and guilt lately. What it means for my life and how to integrate or get rid of it. The Christian Church has worked for a long time with guilt and shame. It seems to be a power thing that makes people do that. I find it in this case extremely sad as Jesus, the man they supposedly are following is known for doing the opposite. Remember the story of the young woman who put oil on the master’s feet?
A sign of respect but I suspect in her case a case of love as well. The man in whose house Jesus was eating pointed out that this woman was a prostitute, and he should not let her touch him. Famously Jesus teaches him a lesson about forgiveness: “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little!”
There are many people in this world who believe they are doing the right thing and cannot do anything wrong. They love to point their fingers on those who experienced hardships in their lives and might have made bad choices. They usually cannot bring themselves to understand the other party and much less love them. As Jesus said: “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little!”
Easter is all about forgiveness. A sacrifice has been made for us to experience forgiveness but much more to forgive others. It is not a free pass for doing the selfish thing and then go to church and get absolution. Even though, many understand it that way that is not how it works.
I suspect this woman had reasons why she chose the way she lived. But she knew there was a better way, and maybe she was ready to let go of all the shame and guilt she experienced. Maybe she was ready to forgive herself and anointing Jesus’s feet was just a ritual to show this. Jesus though recognised what was going on and encouraged her to go on, find the better way and most of all let go of shame and guilt.
One, of course, could say that he shamed the man in whose house he stayed. But that is probably another story….