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Sunday, August 31, 2008



Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clear
Replace the lamp of my first love
That burns with holy fear

These words (penned by the late great Keith Green) grabbed my attention today and reminded me of a story.

I recalled Matthew’s telling of Jesus’ anointing. Jesus was at Simon’s reclining at the table when a woman came to anoint him with perfume. She broke the jar open, and in front of the guests, covered Jesus with the expensive fragrance. The disciples, having now spent a great deal of time with Jesus, questioned her actions. They began to discuss that she would have been better served to sell the expensive perfume and give the money to the poor. After all, Jesus had taught a great deal about serving the poor and giving of your resources to help those in need. The disciples, deconstructing and complicating her actions, thought they had caught a sinner. Nope. Jesus reminds the disciples of the beauty of her simple act.

Just as the disciples complicated this woman’s act of love, we too complicate the gospel. We complicate relationships, decisions, and personality types. We muddle ideas of church, community, and confession. Perhaps as a result of our post-enlightenment tendency to scientifically dissect or out of sheer boredom, we tend to complicate the simple.

Am I saying there is not time for critical thought? No. Am I saying that there is no place for deconstruction? Nu uh. I’m just publicly reminding myself of the need for simple.

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