Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Meditation

The Man got home last night from a few days out of state, bringing home with him a lovely bout of food poisoning, so we are missing the chance to worship with our church family for the third (or fourth) week in a row. If it hasn't been one thing, it's been another. So I am grateful that even if we aren't meeting with other members of the Church, we have access to the Word of God at all times, even if we're reading our Bibles while the boys alternately play monster trucks and David and Goliath while booby trapping our living room to oblivion.

This morning I have been rereading the story of Christ's anointing in Bethany that is found in Mark 14. I read it last night before bed and wanted to come back and revisit it in the light of day. Then I though I would share with you the little bit that I learned because it's Sunday, and Hebrews tells us that we should not give up meeting together, and if I can't meet up with the Church in the body, I might as well meet up with it in the mind.

Last night as I read, I heard God whisper to me, "Your life is that perfume poured out before me." And I thought: seriously, Lord? My life is diapers and dinosaur books and dishes and discipline (both for myself and my children).

Sometimes I think I could be doing something better for Jesus with my life than what I'm doing. I think I should be writing books that change the world or serving at a soup kitchen or, I don't know, curing cancer. Sometimes I'm afraid that other people think that too. That they look at my life and see a waste. That they think: that woman needs to stop pushing out kid after kid after kid and just get a job.

But what I heard in my heart last night was Christ, the one who welcomes little children, saying, "Leave yourself alone. Why do you trouble yourself? You have done a beautiful thing for me... You have done what you could."

I thought today of the doctor who has contracted Ebola while serving the suffering. I know that many have said he shouldn't have even been there in the first place. They have said that doing so was neglectful of his children and his wife. They've called it a waste of his life.

I'm one hundred percent certain that Jesus is whispering those same words over him and his family right now, saying them back to us. "Leave him alone. Why do you trouble him? He has done a beautiful thing for me… He has done what he could."

I wish that we as a Church could rest in those words, acknowledging that when we serve with a whole heart where He has placed us, we have done a beautiful thing for Him. Yes, others may not understand. There will be those outraged at the "waste" of our lives.

But Christ ties the gospel directly to the giving up of worldly goods, of success, of rationality, even. He looks at this woman, giving up everything she has in a desperate effort to please Christ, and He says, "Everywhere the gospel is told, what she has done will be told too."

He doesn't ask us to be understood. He doesn't ask us to do what makes sense. He didn't even ask this sacrifice of us. He would have died for that woman with or without her bottle of perfume. But when we truly love Him, when we truly understand His love for us (which is the only way we will be able to love Him in return), when we truly get the gospel, the pouring out of self is the natural response.

Because we know that no matter how much we give Him, He is always giving us more. As we pour out the perfume of our life at His feet, Christ, our True Life, is pouring back into us. I love this way of knowing that in Christ "our cup overflows."


  1. Good stuff. Not controversial at all though. I think you could have worked in one of Tim's quotes somewhere, but I guess I'm the one who kills serious topics with ridiculous ones. You have a better organized mind than I do. I like the play on the meaning of your name too--incense and perfume are both fragrant.

  2. Jesus loved children. He called them a blessing. I'm trying to learn to not just say mine are a blessing but to act like it. Thanks for this reminder because it feeds that mentality. :)