In Memory of Me
Funerals are not a new experience for me; there have been seasons in my life where memorials of someone’s life were a frequent occurrence. And the one thing they all seem to have in common for me, is they always take me to the same place….
What will be said at my funeral in memory of me?
This service seemed different though, and this caught me off guard.
sprouted a desire down deep in my brokenness as soon as they fell
on this turned over and plowed heart.
As the telling went, there had been a few moments between very close friends just minutes before surgery.
They prayed. “I’m at peace. In truth I’ve never felt closer to God. He’s here. So close that if I turn too quickly, I just might bump into Him.”
My friend's testimony. My heart’s desire.
To be so close, to feel Him so near. To cast away any and everything in between. To reach out with this hopeful hand and touch Him.
Jesus has found himself in Bethany at a friend’s house and, as usual, he was among his disciples. And there was “a woman”*. A woman that was so close to Jesus, that she DID reach out and touch him.
A Sacrificial Woman
“..a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of every expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.”
Now this wasn’t just any oil, this wasn’t the common oil used for medicine or everyday household purposes.
No this was expensive, ‘pure nard’ and cost the equivalent to almost a year’s wages. It could have likely even been everything she owned and her dowry that she was saving to bring to her marriage.
This woman made a great sacrifice to touch her Lord.
- Am I holding close to my precious things instead of being close to God?
- What am I truly sacrificing so I can touch Him?
- Do I gather and hoard more than I need, not trusting God for provision?
“And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why waste this? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the pour.””
Now this was a very bold move on her part. In her time, women did not congregate with men in this manner.
But near to her presence is her Lord. She casts off convention, as she shamelessly makes a path through this group of men to reach Jesus.
Once in his presence and within touching distance, she unapologetically expends this most precious dowry on Jesus with no consideration of what the others present will think. She must have known how it would look. She must have known what they might say.
But with no shame for her very public, very expensive, very personal expression of devotion for her Lord, she stepped out and followed through
- Am I holding back my expression of worship because I am worried about other’s opinions?
- Do I let what other’s may think is a waste keep me from expressing what God thinks is a beautiful thing?
- Am I letting my fear or my faith influence my decisions?
A Secure Woman
“But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. Inpouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.”
Jesus speaks up to defend this woman’s expression of devotion. He shields her from their criticism. He creates a safe and secure and sheltered place of worship and relationship for her. As the church is the bride of Christ, and this woman is part of the church, He quite openly defends the honor of his bride and creates a safe boundary around her.
Secure in His love for her and confident of His Lordship, she shamelessly steps out to render the most grand sacrifice she can offer, having no idea of the sacrifice He is about to make for her … and for you and for me.
- Do I let insecurities in my ability override my security in God’s ability?
- Do I say “no” to God because I can’t see what He is about to do?
- Am I the inattentive bride, not expressing my love for and devotion to my Lord?
A Selected Woman
“Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Because of this woman's selfless expression of devotion toward Jesus, He has selected her as an example to be shared generation after generation whenever and wherever the word of His gospel is shared.
He knew I would read this passage. He knew you would read this passage. He knew of everyone who has and about everyone who is yet to read Matthew 26:6-13.
And He dedicated these words to be spoken in memory of her, as a testimony to us.
- Someday, someone will speak words in memory of me; will they be similar to these?
- Will I be remembered as loving my Lord sacrificially?
- Or worshipping Him shamelessly?
- How about living securely in His love for me?
For sure I will not, if I do not.
I would love to hear your thoughts? Will you join the conversation in the comments below?
Blessings Soul Friends,
- Journal your answers to the heartcheck questions.
- Write out a prayer to God about what you learned.
These questions sure make me think. My father passed away in September, and aside from family and pallbears, he wanted unsaved invited (because of covid it was by invitation with limited numbers) and a gospel message preached. So many people used the word “integrity” to describe him, and also that he was a man of faith. He shared the way of salvation as long as he was able to speak, and the last words he spoke before going unconscious were to an unsaved nurse. Family was in the room too, but he told the nurse “I’m going home. I’m going to see my Lord”. Since then I have wondered if I am doing all that the Lord requires of me and what words will be used to describe me when I pass. I love these questions you have in this post, and will prayerfully consider them and see what areas of my life need to change.
Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful testimony and legacy your father has left behind.