Josh grew up listening to Ron Dunn preach. He would come to their church in south GA for revivals. Josh quotes Ron Dunn often when he teaches Sunday School…he actually quotes him around the house as well. He doesn’t need to have a room full of listeners to share Ron’s wisdom. I have grown to love Ron Dunn even though I never got a chance to meet him or hear him preach in person. I read his biography and cried when the book told of his dying. What an incredible man of God.
Well, this afternoon I put on one of his sermons from his podcast that Sherwood Baptist put together. It’s like you have an old, wise friend in the house when he is preaching. He tells the greatest stories, makes you laugh, but more than that, he shares the power of Jesus through the Word of God. It’s simple, yet profound. So, today was no different. I listened with ease as he preached about Mary pouring her costly oil onto the head and feet of Jesus. His two points were:
#1 DO WHAT YOU CAN.
#2 DO IT TODAY.
“Every act of obedience to The Lord has farther reaching consequences than you and I could ever dream of.”
That was encouraging to me in the area of my service to God. There are several things I do that I know God has called me to, but the one that I want to focus on today is how these truths apply to our Sunday School Class.
Josh has taught Sunday School for about 13 years. I remember vividly thinking that maybe we should teach middle school or some other kids group. He was appalled at the suggestion, but quickly said he thinks he should teach adults. I was less than enthusiastic. I still felt like a child and just wasn’t sure how much fun a room full of adults could be…boy did I have a lot to learn! He is the teacher. The only time I am ever in front of the class is to introduce guests or announce something if our regular announcer is out. Josh does a great job teaching. He loves to study God’s Word and teach it to others. It’s pretty evident to me that he is doing exactly what God has called him to in teaching.
However, we both have had times of discouragement. Sometimes it is because Josh doesn’t feel like he is a good teacher…you know, just wonders if what he is saying is making sense and if he should really be teaching. Other times it is because our schedules get so busy that we wonder if something should go, and I have to admit, I have offered up Sunday School as the first thing to mark off the list. Over the years we have also had our feelings hurt. Sounds petty, huh? And it is…that’s why we still teach…the hurt didn’t overtake our calling. But feelings are real and it is tempting to let hurt feelings magnify and at the same time overlook all the wonderful things God is doing in the class.
Sometimes we ask ourselves if what we are doing really matters. I mean, we all want to matter, don’t we? And, honestly, I can see how what Josh does matters, but sometimes I wonder if me being there to smile and greet folks or send a letter in the mail really matters on the scale of importance. These are times I pray for God to help me have clarity on my role as “Sunday School teacher wife.” And He always does.
Unfortunately, I do not hide my feelings very well, so if we happened to have a conversation at a time when, say, I had my feelings hurt or when the class responsibilities were interfering with my family or personal time, then you may have heard me complain about having to be a Sunday School teacher’s wife. I am sorry for that. The facts are that anything worth doing is usually not easy, takes up your time and energy, and challenges you on more than one level. That is definitely the case with Sunday School….but it is so worth it.
So I was encouraged by the quote above and reminded that me just being in class, smiling at the members and visitors, greeting people, listening to Josh all week as he prepares the lesson, sending notes during the week, etc. really does matter and is part of what God has called me to do.
Then Ron explained why it was important that John(12:3) included that she wiped His feet with her hair and “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”
He said that what Mary had poured out on Jesus was then poured back on her.
And as a result, the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
She did not hold back her perfume or measure out just a bit to pour on Jesus. She poured it all on Jesus, and if she had waited, she would have been too late. The next week He was dead and then risen and in no need of burial oil. But her act of devotion was full and complete.
It’s really quite true. I can tell you from personal experience that the times I have obeyed fully, served fully, loved fully, given fully…not measured or half-hearted…the Lord has been so gracious to pour even more back on me. He is a debtor to no man.
And no matter the time and energy that it takes to be a part of a small group of believers in an organized way, the Lord always pours out more blessings on me than I ever pour into them.
So as I think about the service of teaching Sunday School, which I know the Lord has called us to, I am reminded to DO WHAT I CAN and DO IT TODAY. He has given us some of our greatest friends through our class….real people who DO WHAT THEY CAN and WHEN THEY CAN. Our class is not perfect….there’s lots of human beings in it…but it is a joy for me to be able to know these wonderful people and call them friends, to pray for them and know that they are there for me and my family when we have a need. I think the ones who come and give of themselves, who are willing to be vulnerable, willing to commit even when things aren’t just the way they think they should be, and who contribute to being a part of the body of Christ, will agree with me on this…it is a great blessing to be in our Sunday School Class. I have been encouraged in countless ways as I’ve watched my friends walk through trials in a way that honors the Lord. I have been challenged as I have seen their generosity. I have felt cared for by their hospitality. I could go on and on….
I count it an honor to sit under my husband’s teaching of Scripture ( I joke that the Lord must really want to be sure I “get it” since I hear the lesson several times before Sunday morning). I count it a joy to serve alongside so many wonderful people and see how the Lord uses their families and changes their families as they obey Him and walk in His Ways. I am thankful for the part God allows me to play….for however long He calls me to it.
I want my service to be a fragrant aroma of Christ and to Christ.