It’s been almost two years since we bought this house. It’s a beautiful house. Spacious. Traditional. Inviting. It enchanted us then and charms us still. And yet we watch as other homes enter the ever-dropping market. Bigger homes with sprawling properties, all now listed at much lower prices, seem to shine a light on the flaws of our place. Our eyes wander and we wonder if we made the right choice. Should we have waited? Should we have offered less? How much could we get for how little?
Everybody loves a bargain. We want to get as much as we can for as little as possible. Faith seems no exception. As I sat in church on Sunday reading through John 12, I questioned my stinginess.
We often glaze over the first eight verses of this chapter. Being all caught up in Holy Week and looking forward to the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, we diminish Mary’s offering.
Yeah, she poured out perfume on Jesus’ feet and his head. Yup, the disciples complained that it was a waste of resources, especially Judas, but everyone knew he was a thief anyway. Yadda, yadda, we know, we know.
One little bit of this passage, however, caught me this week and refuses to let go. Judas says that the pure nard — Think the “real” stuff, no imitations here. This was Grade A, imported, expensive product. — could have been sold for three hundred denarii. Okay. So what?
Well, that’s equal to a year’s wages.
When was the last time you poured out a year’s wages for Christ?
I can’t think of a single time in my twenty years as a believer that I have made such a sacrifice.
Some may protest claiming that, well, that was a day-laborer’s wages and so it really didn’t account for that much. Perhaps. Today that might translate to $26K, more or less. To some that’s not a lot. To others, it’s a trove of riches! Regardless, it was a lot to her. It was a lot to the disciples witnessing its “waste.” By attempting to quantify the value, we’re once again trying to see how much we can get for how little. If we know the exact amount, we can make sure we’re not giving too much – right? What’s the best bargain we can get for full faith?
I don’t want to skimp on my devotion to God. I want to give Him all that I have.
Worship is never a waste. We can never give too much. And we can never give too early.
Another part of this story hit me this week. Mary had saved this for Jesus’ burial. In Sunday’s sermon our pastor questioned why she didn’t use it for her brother’s burial just prior. She clearly loved Lazarus, but she saved her best for Jesus. The plan was to honor Him at His death, but that night she chose not to wait any longer. A week later would have poured out her treasure on a corpse. That night she was able to pour it out on Life.
I don’t want to wait to until the “right time” to give everything to God. By doing so, I might miss my chance and forfeit even greater treasure.
Your Turn: What are you pouring out for God? It doesn’t have to be a year’s worth of time or money, but it should be your best. How do you offer Him pure, top-notch, Grade-A worship?