Jump Start # 2554
Mark 14:8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.”
He was a Russian composer by the name of Igor Stravinsky. At the end of World War I he composed a fictitious story about a soldier who trades his prized violin to the devil. The violin represented the soldier’s soul. What is special about this piece is that it involves a narrator, dancers and puppets. Stravinsky understood the times. Some of his other orchestra pieces were not being played because there were so few orchestras. The war had pulled orchestras apart. Stravinsky used a septet to play his new composition. A tiny seven piece orchestra made up of one violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone, and percussion. And, rather than preforming in large concert halls, as they had commonly used, Stravinsky took his show on the road. “A Soldier’s Tale,” was an innovative way to deal with the times that he was in. He found a way to make music and present it to the people. I recently got to see a performance of the “Soldier’s tale.” It was strange to my liking but the best thing I pulled from this was the masterful way Stravinsky adopted, changed and dealt with the circumstances that he was in. He could have sat in his office and cried and cried that there was no orchestra to play his compositions. But in stead, he found a way to deal with his times.
Our verse today is about the woman who came to Simon’s house and anointed the Lord. What she used was very expensive. Rather than keeping it for herself, she used it for the Lord. The disciples complained. They thought it would have been more prudent to sell the perfume and help the poor. They viewed her actions as being wasteful. The Lord defended her. He said, as our verse states, “She has done what she could.” She couldn’t do everything. She couldn’t heal the sick. She couldn’t raise the dead. She couldn’t inspire the Bible. And, she certainly couldn’t die for our sins. One can focus upon all that they cannot do, or they can simply do what they can do. She did what she could.
And, it is that thought, tied in with the example of the Russian composer, Stravinsky, that preachers and churches need to consider today. We are living in unusual times. There is a crisis about us. We can’t assemble. We can’t be together. Our fellowship is strained. We can stay home and cry because no one can come to the church buildings or, like Stravinsky, we can put some thought into different ways to keep the church connected, growing and worshipping the Lord. Stravinsky tried some innovative ways to take the music to the people. For us, we must try some innovative ways to take the word to the people.
Emails and texts are wonderful and easy ways to connect. Shepherds need to be out in the front so the flock can see them. Put messages out weekly that help the flock be encouraged. When we are separate from one another we can stay in touch by messages. The shepherds must still lead the flock. How are the older members doing? Are there things that they need?
Here are a few things we are doing at Charlestown Road:
Jump Starts: Monday-Friday, our devotional blog.
Quick Quotes: Monday-Friday, a pithy quote to help set our thoughts.
Jump Start Rewind: Our Monday podcast
This week at Charlestown Road: Our Wednesday Podcast
Friday Fives: Five simple point reminder about life.
Heaven Bound: Our Friday podcast
This is what we have been doing since January. These things are found on our website, Facebook and other social media outlets. Now, because of the national virus, we are:
- videotaping adult classes and sending out handouts via email and posting them on our website
- recording new sermons to be used on Sundays for worship
- preparing material for parents to use with their children at home
There are many congregations stepping up and doing things like this. This is the time for the spirit of Igor Stravinsky. Maybe you are in a small congregation that does not have these resources or you are in a congregation that does not have the manpower to produce things like this. Connect with some of these other congregations and use their tools to keep you walking with the Lord. Share what you find with others.
This is the first time in American history that brethren can not assemble for a long period of time. Some might check out from the Lord. Fear may get the best of some. Use technology and the tools of today to keep teaching, growing and connecting, first with the Lord and then with one another. Put some thoughts, ideas, and plans into this. Be diligent. This is not the time to slack off. This is not the time for preachers to get lazy. It’s not a time to spend the day watching TV. Get busy Mr. Preacher. Keep writing new sermons. Start a blog. Do some podcasts. Get some videos recorded. There is so much that needs to be done. We are busier now than we ever have been.
We will get through this crisis. We’ll look back and see all kinds of lessons. In trying times, good people rise to the top. Keep the lines of communication open. Talk to those in other congregations to find out what they are doing. We don’t want any to be lost during these times.
She did what she could…are we?