“She hath wrought a good work on me.” Mark 14:6
I’m fascinated by the idea of love/adoration/worship being our reasonable response to God. How is it that being saved from my destructive, sinful life and the pit of hell should result in a “reasonable response?”
HECK NO! Jesus’ act of grace and unconditional love on the cross was completely unreasonable to what I have to offer in return. It was extravagant! It was extravagant beyond words. And it’s reasonable to expect that a response to something like that will be completely unreasonable.
The concept that our worship should be “reasonable” seems to be unique to the Western Culture. Sure, we pay lip service to being undignified, but words are cheap. Are actions betray us. Why don’t we in the western culture understand freedom of worship? Because very few of us have learned how to mourn. We’re very good at pouting, but mourning? Not so much. And without mourning, without despair, we don’t know deliverance.
“Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” We don’t let ourselves mourn. It’s unbecoming to mourn. We need to put on a “happy face.” Especially on Sunday morning. We have to look like we have it all together…keep up appearances.
In contrast, look at many of David’s Psalms. Talk about a guy who could lament. He’s arguably the greatest worshipper that ever lived and some of the worship that he wrote is downright Emo.
However, David didn’t mourn the way the world mourns. He mourned understanding from “whence comes my deliverance.” He knew that after the mourning comes the morning (sorry, the cliche’ was too tempting to pass up). Sun rise is extravagant. Sunset is beautiful, sublime and reflective. Sunrise, after the darkest night, is spectacular and expectant. Photographers will tell you that the light at sunrise is very similar to sunset, but our perception of the light is very different because of what precedes each of them.
David embraced the night so that he could be extravagant in the morning. FOR GOODNESS SAKE THE MAN DANCED NAKED IN WORSHIP! I don’t know that I’m that extravagant. And the fact that God has saved you from having to see me worship in that manner should lead you extravagant thankfulness.
So, here we have this woman responding “unreasonably” to “God with her.” More than a year’s wages poured out of a broken jar. Evidently, she had lived a hard life…she knew desperation. Conventional wisdom is that she was of a woman of ill-repute, a prostitute. Let’s just say it, she was a whore and evidently a fairly “successful” and “prosperous” one. The fact that she had access to an alabaster jar of perfume showed that she had some serious coin. She must of had quite a client list. Breaking the jar committed the perfume to it’s purpose. Once the jar was broken, there was no turning back. Don’t let the symbolism escape you. The real perfume came gushing out of a broken heart. She allowed everything that she held dear to be broken for the sake of worshipping her Savior.
As an aside, I find it interesting that this story comes in scripture shortly after the story of the “Widow’s Offering.” Both gifts were extravagant because they both came from poverty; poverty of wealth and poverty of spirit. Both gave all.
What’s our extravagant, unreasonable response in worship? Or is our worship dignified, staid, stoic? Maybe it’s time to take a look at what Jesus has really saved us from. Maybe it’s time to mourn our sinful lives so that we can be comforted. Have we let Jesus deliver us from our sinful lives completely so that we can worship extravagantly with no regard for ourselves?
He saves completely so that we can worship unreasonably.
That’s why worship.