For the next two weeks our regular lives are on hold. Our family - and many of our fiends - are a part of a local production called Bow The Knee. This is a 200 person cast and choir musical which tells the story of Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection. It requires hours of practice, gallons of makeup, piles of money and a crazy amount of emotional effort to pull off. At the end of Bow The Knee we will all be exhausted, worn out, behind at work, disorganized and slightly broken. We'll probably all have colds. Some of the characters will have no voices, bruised bodies and exhaustion will be rampant. We'll likely have stepped on each others toes, apologies are frequently required. And yet grace abounds and many of us come back the next year.
I've heard some people say that the effort and expense of Bow The Knee would be better directed at other ministries. They argue that the money and time should be used to assist people in poverty or that the show isn't what the gospel is about. I understand this. I've stood in fields in Rwanda and wondered about the American church and her excess. Much of the time I'm one of the ones advocating for programs for clean water, new shoes, grants for foster kids and the like. I love non-profits and know there is nothing closer to the heart of God than protecting and aiding vulnerable people. And yet I keep participating and investing in Bow the Knee. Not to the exclusion of other forms of ministry. But because I believe there is a place for extravagant worship and for memorable stories.
Last night I was thinking about the story in Mark about an expensive display of worship and how Jesus responded. Mark 14 records the story. Jesus was hanging out with some of his guys and a local woman came in and sat at his feet and broke a bottle of costly perfume all over his feet. She washed his feet with her tears and dried his feet with her hair. This is a crazy story. Embarrassing levels of love. I'd be uncomfortable if I was there. And what a waste of money! Some of Jesus' followers clearly were concerned and asked why the perfume hadn't been sold to help the poor.
"Leave her alone," Jesus said, "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.....What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her."
Jesus honored this woman for pouring out her heart in worship - and he recognized that the story would be remembered and would point people to faith.
Last night a few friends were sharing stories of how we met, how they got started on the road to faith, how they found Jesus. I was amazed how frequently Bow the Knee came up. This big bold play is just a tool - but the songs and visual experience clearly can move people to make a decision. I know people whose lives changed because of Jesus. And they met Jesus because of Bow the Knee.
So I spent part of today inviting people to Bow the Knee. Some of the invites were awkward. I recognize the invitation may put some people off. But I'd rather ask everyone and be sure no one who wanted to come was left out. Even if I feel vulnerable. And I do feel vulnerable. I think the perfume lady did too. But she poured it out anyway.
If you'd like to come you can get tickets at www.BowtheKnee.com. If you'd like to help - send me an email and I'll pass on your info to the team. All hands on deck. We have the best story in all of history to share.
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I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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