Summary: Memorial Day Sermon for a Senior Citizen Home or Rehabilitation Center
What Memorial Will you Leave?
A Memorial Day Sermon
Rev. Louis L. Jenkins
Maple Springs Baptist Church
Preached at Larkin Chase Care and Rehabilitation Center
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Matthew 26:6-13 NIV While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked. 9 "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
We celebrate Memorial Day tomorrow. It is a time when we honor and remember men and women who gave their lives protecting our freedom while serving in the armed services. Of course, there will also be a measure of sadness for those who have had the misfortune of having someone come to their door to deliver news of the death of a loved service member. We observe this holiday because we must never forget those who sacrificed so much for us. It is a way of reminding people who will be born after we leave here, to stop and take time to remember and honor those who died for them. A lot will go on tomorrow in Memorial Day Services. There will be speeches, religious services, parades, picnics, fireworks, and more.
This holiday also reminds of Jesus, the one who died so that we might be free of the penalty and power of sin. Our text is about a woman who showed Jesus some Memorial Day appreciation before He died. She was criticized for pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus, but just as Jesus said, she is still remembered today for what she did. She has been talked about, preached about, taught about, sung about – for her act of worshipping Jesus.
So I ask this morning, what will you be remembered for? What memorial will we leave? We will be remembered for something, but what will it be? I believe that you, like me, would like to be remembered for doing something good. While we will not be remembered like the woman in our text, we can at least work on a memorial, something to be remembered about us, for our family, friends, or people who are closest to us. A study of our scripture tells us what it takes for us to establish a memorial.
We have to do whatever we do on purpose, and we must do it for the Lord. Matthew 26:6-7a reads “While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume…” This was no accident. She purposely carried the alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume to the home where Jesus was, with the intent of pouring it on his head and feet.
When we do anything for the Master, we must do it with purpose and give of our best. Matthew 26:7a tells us that the woman poured the expensive oil on Jesus. She did this for Jesus, out of her pure love for Him. There is nothing in the scripture that suggests that she expected anything in return. Scripture does not tell us that she asked for anything after she did it. She was not looking for the fame that she has today through her account being included in the Bible. She just wanted to express her love and devotion for Jesus. In order to leave a memorial for our loved ones to remember us by, we must strive to live pure loves before God, doing what we do for him because we love him and for no other reason.
When we give of our best to the Master, what we do may not be appreciated by the world. It may not even be appreciated by those around us who are in Christ. Too often, we as Christians are slow to understand. Matthew 26:8-9 tells us that “When the disciples saw this, they were indignant.”Why this waste?" they asked. 9 "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor."
The woman was criticized for what she did for Jesus. She was accused of doing too much for Jesus and not enough for the poor. But isn’t it good news that it is alright if the world accuses us when what are doing pleases God? Matthew 26:10-12 records Jesus as saying: "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.” We must be thankful that regardless of how smart people think they are when they talk about us, God always has the final say. So this woman’s act of pouring perfume on Jesus is a lasting memorial to her.