Day One – Variety in Worship

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 26:6-13

For twenty years, I worked in the ministry of Teen Challenge (a Christian residential-care facility for people with life-controlling problems.) When one of our long-term staff was preparing to transition to a different job, his neighbor said, “It’s good that you’re moving on. Working at Teen Challenge has been a waste, hasn’t it?” The neighbor went on to explain that working with drug addicts and alcoholics is meaningless, because once a drug addict, always a drug addict. There’s no hope for change in them. Besides,” he added, “you’ll make a lot more money working someplace else.”

People value things differently. Mother Teresa, for example, believed investing in the lives of the destitute in India offered the best dividends. A financial investor gauges value by the activity in the stock market and how it affects his accounts. A philanthropist is interested in growing his own assets so he can invest in the Mother Teresas of the world.

The disciples struggled with putting value on what was truly significant. The fact that they kept an eye out for the poor is admirable. But, criticizing the what and why of someone else’s gift to the Lord is unfair.

People express their worship to God in different ways. Some folks vocalize their love and appreciation to the Lord; others are more “internal worshippers,” silently expressing their devotion to Him. Some people consider acts of service or showing benevolence to be the highest form of worship. Whatever our style of worship, the Lord looks at the heart of why we do what we do.

The woman in our story simply poured out before the Lord the most valuable item she owned. The disciples saw it as money down the drain. Jesus, however, received her gift as an act of love that would be talked about for centuries to come.

  • How attached are you to your possessions? How difficult would it be for you to give what you value most to the Lord?
  • What criteria do you think God uses in assessing the genuineness of our worship?