Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Nard Nerd?

It never fails. The moment you think you have done a thorough job of explaining and applying a section of scripture - of truly exposing the reasons why the Holy Spirit included it in the Bible - you get slapped across the face by the light bulb that you thought was so clearly visible above your head. Sure, I danced all around it, but I didn't quite put into words a major point that screams from the recorded story. I hope my pride is a godly pride, but I do pride myself in being able to reveal things from familiar biblical events that many people tend to miss. That is one of the toughest challenges when it comes to preaching about a very familiar story in the Gospels. I did do that, but I missed emphasizing something that is crucial to answering the question, what does God want us to learn from this?
In Mark 14, Jesus is having dinner at the house of Simon the Leper. A woman comes in, breaks open "an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume," and proceeds to pour it over the head of Jesus. It's a year's worth of wages, as one disciple described, wasted on Jesus rather than being used to do something really worthwhile - like helping the poor. Jesus defends her, praises her, and rewards her and her act of love with everlasting remembrance.
I won't re-preach my lesson, but the best way to understand it - I believe, is to ask yourself why this touched Jesus so much. It was an act of love, of sacrifice, of singular devotion that ignored others, and maybe most important of all, allowing yourself to be used by God to glorify his Son.
That's some good stuff to chew on! Still, here's the point I wish I'd made Sunday:
An act of love needs no justification! It is it's own priority regardless of what others do, think, judge, or say.
That's even more good stuff to chew on for a while. Wow - could a call that a God cud?

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