“And the disciples were indignant when they saw what had happened.
‘What a waste,’ they said. ‘This could have been sold for a high price and the
money given to the poor.’ (Matthew 26:8)
evening/Wednesday morning of this Holy Week, Jesus experienced a gift of LOVE.
He was once again staying in Bethany and you know the story of how a woman came
in and broke open an alabaster jar of humongously expensive perfume and poured
it on Jesus’ head and feet, then wiped them with her own hair. The disciples
were absolutely flabbergasted and some were furious that she had wasted such an
expensive item that could have been sold and helped out the poor. How sweet and
thoughtful of them. Based on some of the past history around the disciples, I
wonder how much they actually were thinking of the poor and how much they were
considering their own Disciple Treasury Box. In fact, Judas, as treasurer, was
one of the more vocal objectors. That money could have bought a nice camel down
at “Abdul’s Used Camels Lot.” You know the commercials, “Come on in….check his
teeth, kick his hooves, thump his hump!” (sorry…got a bit carried away).
Jesus answered their
ranting with the calm answer that ‘…the poor will always be here, but I won’t
be here much longer. This lady has come and given a gift that is preparing me
for my burial…’ Again, an offering, a
task, a contribution given out of pure, true, no-strings-attached LOVE.
Every church has
them. Complainers. Those who find fault in what is being done….regardless. Those people who just don’t get the point of
a ministry of LOVE. Such is the case above. Complaining followers of Jesus. Complaining
followers of Jesus about a church staff member. Complainers can’t see the
ministry opportunities because of their focus on money and themselves. It
doesn’t matter what is being done to honor Jesus, they know of a better way to
do it. We’ve never done things like THAT before. From my own experience in
ministry, both as clergy and as a lay-worker, nothing can hinder and harm a
church more than the complainers. Because, usually the complainers go hand in
hand with the…..gossipers (gasp!). Oh yes, I said it.
And yeah, I’ve done
my fair share of church complaining in years past, but thank goodness, I was
convicted of this fault years ago, corrected this serious sin and learned to
trust my church leaders to do God’s leading for the church. If they are not
following God’s leading, then that is their responsibility and they will be
accountable; but as a Christian, I have learned that my role is to support and
encourage my leaders and not complain or gossip, especially
if I have not spoken to those for whom I might have concerns.
This day, when the
disciples continued to struggle with each other during the most critical week
of their lives, I pray that we will all stop and think about the greater good
of our ministry. Going back to earlier weeks…. examine your own heart for sin,
watch your tongue and do all you can to keep yourself, your church leaders and your church from being harmed and to work
in unity to share God’s message. In LOVE.
And for today my
friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. Blessed be the Name of