Holy Week Day 4
“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)
On Tuesday 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 (generally believed to be Mary of Bethany) 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 furious that she had wasted such an expensive item that could have been sold and helped out the poor. How sweet 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.
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 … (gasp) gossipers.
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 together in unity to share God’s message. In LOVE.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of “Being God’s” and “Staying God’s,” both available at Amazon.com.