Alabaster Jar

Why do you trouble the woman, she has performed a good service for me.  Matthew 26:1-16  I remember the first time I gave away something of value. I thought to myself; “Am I doing the right thing, and what if I needed it later? Eventually, I managed to convince myself that I was in fact doing the right thing and the reality was that I really wouldn’t need later it because I had more of what I was giving away. I’d like to say that I made the decision that day to give the item away because the person receiving the gift needed it. However, I was far more conscious of the fact that I had more  – and one less wasn’t going to adversely affect my life. I was so naive about the blessings in my life, not to mention so lacking in my faith and understanding of God’s Kingdom. As she was making her way to the house of a leper, I wonder if the woman with the alabaster jar of costly ointment struggled with what she was about to do? Like the widow with the two copper coins, was that jar of ointment all she had or did she have plenty more where that came from? The fact that the woman in this story defied several Jewish laws is intriguing and yet quite powerful. The best news is that despite of her disobedience to the law, Jesus receives the gift and in fact welcomes it. He certainly didn’t need the oil, but his response in support of her act, gives rise to the significance of women of vision who daily choose to carry out the Gospel.

Perfect Freedom

…present your bodies as a living sacrifice… which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1-8  It seems unusual to me now, to see spiritual worship as sacrifice. For me, I see it as a sacrificial freedom by the relationship that I have with God. It wasn’t always that way and I must confess it took a long time before I could even express what spiritual worship really meant for me. By the grace of God I held on and the reward was finally recognizing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Along with that strength comes maturity in faith. With maturity in faith comes confidence in the Spirit that guides rather than myself. As the Spirit of God within me guides I am no longer bound by my own limitations, nor the darkness that is the unknown. No longer bound I am free. I am free to worship. I am free to trust. I am free to love. I am free to discern according to God’s will. Perhaps to the world spiritual worship seems like a sacrifice but as part of the journey for me, no matter the struggle, it’s the perfect freedom.

but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31