April 2011

I absolutely love stories that remind us of God’s redemption.  This past week I was privileged to hear one.

A couple visited my fellowship group, sharing of God’s calling on their lives to move soon to Papua, Indonesia to serve as missionaries there.  J, the wife, had grown up there as a missionary kid and was returning to the place where her parents still live and serve, and where J’s brother and his wife will also soon be living.  Its such an unusual thing – as an adult missionary – to end up living so close to your family.

When I asked J about her family’s history in missions, it turns out she’s not just the second but the third generation of missionaries in her family!

 Her grandfather was friends with Nate Saint, a pilot for Mission Avaition Fellowship (MAF).  When he and Jim Elliot and several other young men were tragically killed in Ecuador in 1956 by men from the very ethnic group they had gone to evangelize, the story made headline news around the world.  J’s grandfather was so affected by Nate’s life and death that he decided to following in Nate’s footsteps and become a missionary himself.

And now, three generations later, that legacy lives on in this family.

What a redemptive and mighty God we serve!


This morning I was reading in Mark 14. It is the passage where, Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, enters a home where Jesus is eating with friends. She breaks an expensive jar of perfume and pours it over Jesus’ head.

I’ve often struggled with this story. I am the proud pragmatist who like some of those there think this is such a wasteful thing to do. Think of all the poor people who could be fed using the money it cost to buy that expensive gift.

But instead, Jesus affirms Mary’s unabashed expression of love and devotion pointing out “she did what she could” . Then he goes on to explain: “She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.”

This is a profound statement.

In several days, Jesus would be arrested, tried, and crucified, dying a criminal’s death. Criminals’ bodies weren’t normally embalmed. Mary could not have known that but her selfless and generous act “prepared” Jesus body for the tomb.

I love this. Mary did what she could to show her love, and Jesus used it to point to something far greater.

We are called to go and do likewise.  Do what we can – and watch God use our humble efforts and gifts to move his kingdom forward.