Friday, October 7, 2011

Like Father, Like Son? or Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary?

John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. 7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Do you remember when Jesus was invited to Simon's house for dinner? Simon was a Pharisee. As they ate, a sinful woman snuck in, approached the Lord from the back and began to wash His feet with her tears. Simon complained because He let this sinful woman touch Him.

Now the son is doing the griping because another Mary is wiping His feet with her hair. Dad complained about the type of woman, Judas about the waste of costly perfume. This family just can't be satisfied with how others worship. The Marys were just about as extravagant in their worship as anyone has ever been and the Iscariots were just about as cantankerous as could be about how someone else chose to show their love to the Lord.

Simon's pride was hurt, Judas' greed showed through. Both were rebuked by the Lord for their narrowness of comprehension and for their upbraiding of the ladies who truly "got it."

I come from a spiritual heritage which more resembles the Iscariots than the Marys. We tend to gripe about how everyone else shows their love for the Lord. We have our "prescribed" ways of doing things. Thinking and acting outside of the box to show appreciation brings fundamentalist consternation down upon the worshiper.

Our ilk frowns upon praise choruses. They believe the old fashioned hymns are what Paul and Silas sang in jail. As if "There is Sunshine in My Soul" would have been more appropriate than one of the Psalms which repeated the same 7 words 11 times, emphasizing trust in their Deliverer.

They think that the new song which believers will sing in heaven will be written in common time, sung in E flat major and will include a few old English words.

A lady walked into a church with “The Baptist Hymnal” tucked under her arm. After the service, she climbed all over the pastor’s frame for his use of praise choruses. He asked to see the hymnal. After looking through a few of the songs, he then said to her, “Funny, I see songs in here written by Lutherans, Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists and Anglicans. Every song we sang today was written by a Baptist. So, what’s your problem?”

And while we are singing that new song in heaven, there had better be no hand raising or none of that emotionalism which causes souls to cry tears of joy for what the Lord has done!

I wonder had Judas repented and trusted the Lord, would he have been able to enjoy heaven? Would Simon be moved with indignation or joy by the "holy, holy, holy" of the angels around the throne? I'll bet’cha Mary Mary (take your pick, the ones in the Bible, or the modern duo) will be glad to have the shackles off their feet so they can praise the worthy Lamb as He deserves to be worshiped.

Does your worship resemble that of the Iscariots or of the Marys?

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