Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, July 18, 2016

Acting Small

She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. -- Mark 14:8

Have you ever had a job that was too much for you?  I find that a lot with projects and things that need to be done.  If I look at the whole of what is required, I wonder how I can possibly finish it all.  I hardly know where to start.   

Life in the modern world is like that.  Maybe it’s not the modern world.  Maybe it’s just life.  Right now, though, it seems we are being overrun by evil at every turn.  We are facing one tidal wave of insanity after another, and we fear being swept away.  We are clinging to the Rock of reality.  How long can we hold on?  What are we to do, and how are we to live?  We stand before the Black Gate surrounded and about to be crushed. 

Jesus was about to go to the Cross.  Hostility, antagonism, and opposition to His ministry were mounting.  The pressure was increasing.  He was on His way to His final confrontation in Jerusalem:  And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head (Mark 14:3). 

She could not save the world.  She could not go to the Cross in His place.  She could not spare Him from the suffering that He would have to endure.  What she could do was break that alabaster flask of oil and use it to express her love for the Lord.  It seems like such a small thing.  All of history turns on the Cross.  Jesus was about to bear the full weight of all humanity’s iniquity.  How could her small sacrifice and effort matter?  It mattered to Jesus.  He saw in her demonstration of devotion the reason for what He was about to endure.

We can’t save everybody.  We can’t heal every wound.  We can’t feed every hungry person.  We can’t rescue every person who is suffering or in peril.  None of us, not even working together in large numbers, can really change the world.      

Every one of us, though, can do something.  There is someone we know who needs love and comfort.  There is someone we can forgive.  There is some ill, however small, that we can remedy.  Let’s stop worrying about all that we can’t do, and do what we can.

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