“How much?” the pastor jolted upright in his leather chair.
“Forty-thousand dollars,” she said.
“But…” he readjusted his glasses, “…why would…that many wouldn’t even fit in the church.”
“You might be surprised how much it costs to ship the best orchids, gazanias, and cherry blossoms from Brazil, South Africa, and Japan. Specialty flowers, you know, are my business.”
“But…” the pastor’s hand, having left his glasses, hung in mid air, “why not donate that money somewhere else…the building fund…some missionaries…the homeless shelter?”
“I want to give God something beautiful.”
“But, they’ll just die.”
He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He closed it again. “It just seems…” He faltered.
“…like a waste?” she said.
He cleared his throat and looked away.
* * * * *
Photo courtesy of Jorge Zapata via unsplash.com
As American Christians, we’re likely to sympathize with the pastor—unless, we find the same story in Matthew 26. There we find ointment instead of flowers, disciples instead of a pastor, and a woman wanting to do something beautiful for Jesus.
Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt, but when it comes to Bible, familiarity makes us numb to the shock of the story. A year’s wages for five minutes of worship. Hundreds of poor people that could have been fed for months. Religious onlookers who thought they knew better. How would Jesus respond Continue Reading…