The Alabaster Jar
Have you ever heard of this Christian worship song entitled “The Alabaster Jar”?
Go check it out if you haven’t!
Man, I’ve got this song stuck in my head now! Hahaha, it’s partly because I had to play it over and over again for three services in church this week. I was playing in Jonathan Ngin’s team. “The Alabaster Jar” is a pretty “unknown” song. Weird title, isn’t it? But it’s a beautiful song once you understand the story behind the lyrics and sing it out – with meaning.
It is based on a passage in the Bible found in Matthew 26:7-9:
7 A woman came to Him having an alabaster jar of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. 8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
This passage is about a woman who, according to the disciples, “wasted” the expensive perfume by lavishing it on Jesus. The disciples thought that if it was sold, the money could be put to better uses. But to their surprise, Jesus rebuked them straight in the face, saying:
“Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.”
Reading the passage, I was reminded of Dr. Paul Brand, a brilliant man I read about in a book by Phillip Yancey. (Go Google up these dudes, it’s worth reading about their lifework and the books they’ve written.) Dr. Paul Brand spent much of his life among the poor in the poorest places in India. And what’s more, these were not just poor people; they were people stricken by the horrible disease known as leprosy (also called the Hansen’s disease).
I find it amazing that such a talented, brilliantly intelligent person would want to spend his life working among the “untouchables” – people who’ve lost all sense of touch, who have their noses and fingers and toes falling off. I’m sure any straight-minded person would think: Why would such a capable man want to “waste” his life and talent on such hopeless people? Wouldn’t he be much more successful if he chose a less unpleasant path? And yet, look at so much he has accomplished in his life for God’s glory!
To other people, just like the disciples who did not see in Jesus’ perspective, it may seem like an utter waste of talent to spend it on helping the poor or in less pleasant areas in life. But hello, who cares what other people think if you know that what you’re doing pleases God and is part of His purpose for your life? Every God-given talent that is used for His glory and not our own, pleases God. You may seem like a fool in light of the standards of fallen humanity, but wouldn’t it be a credit to be known as a “fool for Christ”?
The Alabaster Jar
This alabaster jar
Is all I have of worth
I break it at Your feet, Lord
It’s less than You deserve
You’re far more beautiful
More precious than the oil
The sum of my desires
And the fullness of my joy!
Like you spilled Your blood,
I spill my heart as an offering
To my King
Here I am, take me
As an offering
Here I am, giving every heartbeat
For Your glory, take me
You are worthy
Worthy is the Lord
Classic shot; beautiful song. I started playing it on the piano again when I got home today. Haha. I told you, its stuck in my head! A good song to get your head stuck with, though. :P