An act of worship

 Dear Family,

                   

 Very often you must endure pain and struggle along the way to a desired end, and sometimes we must put up with unusual characters. 🙂  Can anyone guess whose mouth that is?  (Not the lizard’s!)

 Readings  John 12:1-11 

In the above passage is the last event reported by John, before Jesus entered Jerusalem on His way to the cross.  It is interesting to me that as Jesus is heading to his crucifixion that He has a dinner with a man he had already raised from the dead.  And what is also very interesting is that the chief priests were planning on not only killing Jesus, but Lazarus as well, “because many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus”, because Lazarus had been raised from the dead by Jesus.  Come on, the guy is raised from the dead, and they want to kill him again!  Seems like what a lot of people would like to do with Jesus these days.  But He is alive, and will stay that way!!

So, here we have a final meal revealed where Jesus is eating with friends, and about to enter his final week before being crucified on the cross.  I do not know about you, but I have had times that I dreaded what was coming, and it colored everything I thought about or did.  I was going through what should have been a very joyous time, and yet inside I was dying.  It was at that point that I had a thought that scared me.  A thought that many have had multiple times in their life, and unfortunately many have acted upon.  Fortunately for me, by God’s grace I was able to get a glimpse of truth that helped get me through that time.  That Truth was Jesus, and His love that was demonstrated for me, and continues to be shown to me. 

Jesus was not going to remove that obstacle in His path, the cross.  No, for you and for me, and in obedience to the Father, He was going to go on.  He knew what the pain and suffering would lead to, ultimately for our forgiveness, and our obtaining life, and God’s glory.  How often do we want to remove the pain in our life before we even can learn why it is there?!  I am thankful that Jesus endured the pain for you and me.  We will explore the depth of that pain in coming days.

Another thing that struck me as I read through this passage in John was Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume.  It was her act of worship, her showing her love to Jesus.  Quickly she is criticized by Judas for wasting money that could have been used on the poor.  Have you ever had a great time of worship, only to be brought down by some comment or action?  I am reminded of David in the Old Testament when he danced before the Lord as the Ark of the Covenant was brought back toJerusalem. 

 2 Samuel 6:14-15 (NASB95)
14 And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house ofIsrael were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.

When his wife saw it, she was disgusted, and told David so.  I love David’s remark.  Listen to the initial comment by his wife and then his response.

2 Samuel 6:20-22 (NASB95)
20 But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”
21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the LORD.
22 “I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.”

Listen to verses 20-22 as penned in The Message.

2 Samuel 6:20-22 (MSG)
20 David returned home to bless his family. Michal, Saul’s daughter, came out to greet him: “How wonderfully the king has distinguished himself today—exposing himself to the eyes of the servants’ maids like some burlesque street dancer!”
21 David replied to Michal, “In GOD’s presence I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over GOD’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to GOD’s glory
22 —more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned… I’ll gladly look like a fool… but among these maids you’re so worried about, I’ll be honored no end.”

We have something to be thrilled about, to cause us to shout and dance and rejoice.  Jesus did endure the pain, and not only died, was buried, but was raised from the dead.  Hopefully we will not throw cold water on other people’s acts of worship, and hopefully we will not let anyone stop us from worshiping our Lord.

“Oh yes, I’ll dance to GOD’s glory
22 —more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned… I’ll gladly look like a fool…”

Enjoy Him today,

Steve

 

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