/Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.” Matthew 26:6-13
November 11 is a date we, in the western world, have set apart to commemorate those who are killed while protecting our democracies.
That's honorable, but as much as we say "Lest we forget", we know that those who knew them die themselves within 2 or 3 generations. Memory of them is lost and their names are relegated to archives or engraved on monuments, all things that crumble away in time.
Only two records of our life will outlast the limitations of human memory and the indifference of time.
- The first is our name as it's written by God Himself in the Lamb's book of life. He will never forget us, and our relationship with Him will never end.
- The second record will be when the Lord evaluates how we loved Him and lived for Him during this brief passage on earth.
I love this story from Matthew 26, in which a nameless woman smashed open a priceless alabaster jar of perfume and poured it out on Jesus. She gave up what was probably her most valuable possession (the cultural importance of this burial perfume is something we won't get into here) and broke it open for Jesus. That action forced her to use it on the spot, and the loss of the perfume was irreversible.
Jesus described her act as a beautiful thing, then went on to say in verse 13: "She will always be remembered for this deed. The story of what she has done will be told throughout the whole world, wherever the Good News is preached.” (TLB)
Her act of sacrificial and lavish worship will never be forgotten in those places where the gospel is preached before Jesus' return. And I'm pretty sure that Jesus will celebrate her for the rest of eternity.
It's good to be thankful toward those who give their lives to protect others, but it's vastly more important to applaud those who've given their lives for Jesus and for others all throughout history. Better yet, we ought to emulate this woman who poured out all she had for Jesus.
Break your perfume bottle.
Pour your life out for Him.
Bruce Lungren works with Simply Mobilizing as a head facilitator in Canada and the francophone world. He and Lauren are global workers with the Apostolic Church of Pentecost of Canada, catalyzing French and English-speaking churches for God’s mission. They first served in Burkina Faso where Bruce grew up, and then in northern France. They’ve been based in Quebec since 2011.
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