Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You will always have the poor

Matthew 26:6-13 (ESV)
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, [7] a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. [8] And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? [9] For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." [10] But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. [11] For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. [12] In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. [13] Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."

So often I hear people complain about money spent on churches, on the buildings that is. Somehow they think they have an ace in their sleeve, and they say why don’t they spend that money on the poor. Often I suspect the people saying this are people who probably give a lot less to charity and the poor then the people who not only tend to give a lot to charities outside the church, but also donate money to the church for it’s building and the pastor’s salary, and so on and so forth. It is I maintain the height of hypocrisy to level that charge. I know of few church’s that have forgotten Christ’s words that the poor will always be with us, implying that we should be willing to take care of them at all times. Of course they also ignore the fact that donating to a church building is just as much a service to the community as anything else a Christian does. Providing an aesthetically appealing and comfortable building, where even the poor are invited to hear the word of God is no light thing to be scoffed at in society. For it is only there that we truly receive the sustenance that we need for life, the good news, the gospel, where this woman’s actions are also remembered.
She prepared Jesus for his death. She anointed his body and prepared it for burial. She knew why Jesus was there. She knew what was going on. Jesus brings the message home to the disciples, you will not always have me. He is going to die. His focus is on the cross. He is going to do it for the world for the poor for this owman. This woman alone is grateful. Her Love pours out. She knows that his death is her life.

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