This is a re-post of an older article from 2007... I thought it worth elevating to draw us back to the primacy of worship. ~rma
In Mark 14, when the woman anointed Jesus with what translates into maybe $30,000 worth of perfume in today's dollars, the disciples laid into her about what a waste that was. She could have given the money to the poor! $30,000... talk about a waste! And Jesus told them to shut up and leave her be, for she had done a "beautiful thing" (NIV). It was an act of worship.
being a worshiping church.
Why do I assert that so diligently, seemingly against the current "missional" movement?
Worship? What about the poor? What about those who haven't heard the Good News? What about our mission and God's mission to the world? Aren't all those things really important?
Yes, they are. That's why Jesus put them together. What is the greatest commandment?
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself. (cf. Mark 12:30-31)There it is - Jesus didn't omit it - we are to love our neighbor. We are to feed the poor. We are to build houses for Habitat and support missionaries to those who haven't heard. We are to love our enemies and join in God's mission the world. But here's the point: those things don't matter if we don't love God with all we are and all we have.
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who is more gung-ho about God's mission, whether that be ministries of mercy or sharing the Good News. But if I haven't made this clear, then hear it clearly now, as taught in this passage:
loving the God who is the author and creator
of that world and of love itself.
Want to talk about waste? There's a statement to chew on.
What Jesus taught is that loving God with all we have and all we are cannot but result in love of neighbor. Jesus taught that a lot! But the opposite is not true. Love of neighbor does not automatically result in loving or even knowing God.
And this woman, probably Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha (cf. John 12), got it right.
That's why wherever the Gospel (the Good News) is proclaimed, what she did will be remembered. It is because what she did was worship God with all she was and all she had, with heart, soul, mind, and strength. And where the Gospel goes and people respond, they too will come to know what it means to worship and serve the Lord.
The prophet Isaiah said, "Seek the Lord while He may be found." (55:6) This blessed woman demonstrated both the wisdom and the beauty of doing just that.
Full Sermon HERE