“Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
One of my favorite Bible stories is called The Story of the Alabaster Jar.
This is a story about an amazing act of devotion – an act of selfless giving by a disciple
named Mary. Mary was the woman who approached Jesus with her alabaster jar–
a jar filled with very expensive perfume. It could have sold for more than a year’s
wages, but instead she broke it, and anointed Jesus’ head with the oil. At first, she
was criticized, but Jesus defended her saying, “I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Mark 14:9).
Of all the acts of servanthood he witnessed, this one touched Jesus’ heart so deeply, that he memorialized it
Have you thought about this story and imagined your own alabaster jar? They come in different shapes and
sizes. Sealed within the jar is all that we prize, all our treasured earthly possessions. Occasionally we break the seal, remove the lid, and share. But often we do so carefully, conservatively, and anxiously. And then we put the lid back on. So much of life is spent preserving and conserving what we hold in our alabaster jar.
Mary’s act of servanthood brings each of us to the question of stewardship – “What should we do with the
income and possessions, time, and talents in our alabaster jar?” Ultimately, good stewardship is not a matter
of wise money management, or even responsible giving. It is a matter of extravagant love.
So, let me ask you to reflect on these questions:
· How has your heart been shaped by the love of Christ so generously poured out for you?
· Has it left your heart so filled with gratitude that you can’t help but generously pour it out in return?
May we all be so transformed by Jesus’ love that our prayer, each day, becomes:
“Lord, – this is the best I have. And really – it’s yours. Such as I have, I give to thee.” Amen
As members of the one body of Christ, and this congregation, we ask two important things of you:
1) Prayerfully and faithfully participate in the ministries of Zion, reaching out to our community
2) Prayerfully consider your “Estimate of Giving for2023” (see p. 2) – Give as God has blessed you.
Your generosity is translated into countless acts of love carried out in Jesus’ name. On Sunday, Oct. 9we gather for our “Celebrate GenerosityBrunch at 9:30 and then during worship at both services we will each have the opportunity to bring forward our stewardship response: our “Estimate of Giving” card as well as our regular offerings, and place them before the altar of the Lord.