Recently, there was a commotion in the media about the Ministry of Manpower buying designer Herman Miller chairs priced at S$575 for their civil servants. People were asking if this was really necessary, and whether the government should be spending so much money. On a more personal note, my wife is expecting our first son, and we recently attended a public talk on storing of a baby’s cord blood in private banks. The suggested fee worked out to $1k for enrolment, and about $250 a year for 1, 5, or even up to 21 years. Of course, the organizers, who represented a particular company, would strongly encourage and convince you that it is really vital and beneficial for you to store your baby’s cord blood, as it can be used in future for medical treatments of possible blood-related diseases. These two incidents caused me to reflect about the worth or value that we place on items, or what one would be willing to spend for a certain quality of item or service.
The passage for today's sermon (Mk 14:1-11) contrasts a woman who anointed Jesus with perfume, and Judas Iscariot who agreed to betray Jesus. Interestingly, the jar of perfume the woman broke was priced at 300 denarii (about $6000, a year's wages in those days), and it was Judas himself who complained (Jn 12:4), only later to agree to betray Jesus for a thirty silver coins (about $600). Perhaps to those present, the woman had wasted this precious perfume and money pouring it all over Jesus, but Jesus accepted her sacrificial offering, as she was symbollically anointing or blessing Him (in preparation for His burial). I wonder if we were living in Jesus' day, would we have felt or said the same things as those present?
Read the full article >>
Labels: bulletin, judas, mary, mk, worship