I remember the first time I raised my hands in worship. I remember thinking that I wanted to show God how much I desired Him. I also remember it being extremely awkward as a storm of anxiety raged within my mind. I wondered “what will my friends think if I do this?” It was certainly a sacrifice to do so. And I think it’s safe to say that all worship is a sacrifice that costs something. In the book of John we get a beautiful picture of sacrificial worship between Mary and Jesus.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume (John 12:3, NIV).
Mary, who experienced so much mercy and forgiveness in Jesus, brought something that was treasured and used it to show her affection toward Jesus. She took something that was most likely hard to give up, and broke it at Jesus’ feet to show that He is worth more. She even used her hair, which represented her beauty, to get messy as she wiped His feet. Jesus was her “One Thing”. He was the centerpiece of her life, the place where all of her affection, trust, and attention was placed.
This passage is here to show us worship that Christ desires. He desires worship that costs us something. How often is deficient worship brought in our gatherings? You see it when our attention is elsewhere and we keep checking the time. You see it when we don’t show up prepared or show up late. You see it when our pride and fear keep us from displaying humble, messy adoration. I believe it’s because we haven’t truly understood the depth of who Jesus is and what He has done for us on the cross. But when we truly contemplate and feel the weight of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we can’t help but bring costly worship. And worship like this will release a fragrance that gets the attention of the watching world.
- How have you brought deficient, unintentional worship?
- How can you bring worship that costs you something, worship that proves Christ as the “One Thing” in your life?