The Poor Will Always Be With You

March 13, 2016

Introduction: The drama being lived out as Jesus comes ever closer to the cross comes into focus at an unusual moment. Much like a family going through a crisis, even when something that seemingly mundane and even at first glance should ease the tension, instead brings that tension into sharp focus. Mary sought to do something extravagant to show her deep love and affection for Jesus and it is turned into a conflict between Judas and Jesus.

I) A dear friend of mine shared that some had taken Jesus’ words: “The poor you shall always have with you.” as a commandment, and not as it was probably meant as a sad statement about how we treat each other in society, most especially those whom it would be easy
for us to forget!

II) Certainly the money that was spent on the ointment for Jesus’ feet could have been spent to give food to the poor. As a community of faith we are called not only to care for the poor, but to make disciples for Christ, which is our primary mission. At times these two important responsibilities come into conflict. One does not necessarily exclude the other, but we must remember to keep helping the poor and giving our best to God in a healthy tension. Interestingly, this same friend that I alluded to above, was my Spiritual Advisor in Raleigh, as I was preparing to go to seminary, he gave me a check that was the largest gift I had ever been given at one time by anyone!

III) Our focus here at St. Michael’s is to reach out and invite others to be disciples for Christ. In order to do this we are invited to pray daily, to worship weekly, to have regular Bible study, to give to the church and to give outside the church. The most important part of this mission statement is how it begins: “By being a disciple of Christ, I invite others to be disciples of Christ.” How have you lived this out in your daily lives? As I consider this, I think of our new
organ, what a gift from Tom McGee! We too, have worked to realize this gift and this gift will continue to reap benefits not only for those of us here now, but those who will follow us as well.