by Abiding Love
Mark 14:3-9 — While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Our society has a heightened sense of waste. We are concerned of wasted resources. We are concerned when food goes to waste that could be used to help others. Wasting of money, resources, and time are important discussions to have and important matters of our hearts.
On Wednesday of Holy Week in the home of Simon the Leper the disciples were also concerned about waste. They saw an extraordinary gift given to Jesus and a special act of service. A woman used an entire jar of expensive perfume to pour upon Jesus. The pragmatist in the disciples saw so many other uses for this gift. They declared her act “a waste”.
Jesus corrected the disciples quickly. Instead of seeing this gift as “a waste” Jesus points out how this woman seized the moment. She did not waste this unique opportunity to express her love and honor Jesus for the work of salvation he was about to undergo. This unnamed woman did not waste the opportunity to say “thank you” to Jesus for being her Savior. Instead of being a one-time event, her act has become a timeless example of glorifying God to the highest.
Our sinful natures are all pragmatists. Our sinful nature sees other personal “needs” for anything we might give to the Lord. Can you not come up with a dozen uses of your time rather than spending it in worship or service to the Lord? Can you not come up with a dozen priorities for your wealth rather than giving a generous and cheerful gift to the Lord?
This Holy Week may we just slow down and digest what Christ has done for us. On Thursday he invites us to his banquet where he gives us a foretaste of sitting with him in heaven. On Friday we watch from a distance the greatest love the world has ever known. We witness the full punishment that brought us peace. On Sunday we get to gaze into an empty tomb to know that the victory has been won. Christ has conquered death itself for us.
Christ has won us an eternity. Now we have just a few moments here on earth to praise Him. Let’s seize opportunities we have to glorify Him. Bring Him our gifts. Worship Him with full hearts and voices. Serve Him in gladness. There is no waste when it comes to using our time, our energy, our ability, our wealth to glorify God and declare His gospel throughout the world.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
September 20, 2023
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