Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
TITLE: Waste or Worship?
By Chrissi Ellankoon
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As she makes her way to Simon’s house I often wonder what was going through her mind. Did she plan what she was going to do? What is all rehearsed? Scripture doesn’t tell us too many details about whether she had planned this event or not, however we do know that she didn’t belong there, she wasn’t an invited guest. While this Scripture does not name her, we know that she was a determined and focused lady. With one hand clasped around that cold creamy alabaster jar she purposed each step, she was focused on reaching Simon’s house because she had heard that the Teacher would be there. She knew Jesus would be there. What was she going to say? How would she address Him and greet Him? All these thoughts swam around her mind as she made her way to Simon’s house.
Every now and then she would glance down at that small jar within her hands. Here were all her hopes and dreams, this sweet pungent Nard was her future and her security. Sealed in this small bottle was the aroma of hope, her hope.
Everything was happening so fast as she made her way to the house she pushes past Simon and all the other guests, and there He is, the Teacher, Jesus. All those words and that speech she had rehearsed in her head hundreds of times now didn’t seem to express what was in her heart. There were no words to express how she felt, the love and compassion she felt just looking at Him.
At that moment she reached for the only thing of value that she had. Her hope and future sealed in that jar. With one confident and swift move she broke that jar and anointed her Messiah. There was no half measure, that contents of the broken jar was all emptied out and the fragrance was carried on the evening breeze throughout the room and into the night.
Some of those present saw what took place and commented to each other about the waste. This expensive perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus rebuked them and defended the woman’s action because where they could only see waste, Jesus saw worship. What this woman did was an act of worship, she took what was in her hands and used it to bless and honour Jesus. This is the heart of worship.
This story teaches us a very important aspect of worship. What others perceive as waste Jesus sees as worship. How many times have you told people about tithing only to see them roll their eyes and think you’re crazy? How many times have you given money to a homeless man on the street but in your heart you think he will only go and get another drink? How many times have you sowed your time into your church community only to be ridiculed by your secular friends? Take heart you are in good company. This woman encountered the same ridicule, but Jesus defended her and told them that because of what she had done her story will be told throughout the world.
Because where others saw waste, Jesus saw worship. So when you are using your time or money or any other resource as an act of worship to God, don’t be surprised if you are ridiculed and mocked. Just know that Jesus sees what you do, He sees your act of worship and He is pleased.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul tells us that we can use anything as an act of worship to God. “So whatever you eat and drink, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Use your everyday situations, whatever is in your hands as an act of worship to God. Be extravagant in your worship and don’t hold back despite what others might say, for where others see waste, God sees worship.
Look at one aspect of your life which you could offer as an act of worship, perhaps at your place of employment. Write down two ways you will change the way you work so that it can be used as an act of worship to glorify God.
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