6 'Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me… 8She did what she could. (Mark 14)
I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes lack attention to detail. I'm a big picture kind of guy. And so, even though I've proofread this article at least once and in spite of modern marvels like Microsoft spell-check, there's a pretty good chance that there is a typo or two in here. [For example, the first time I typed this sentence it read "a typo or to."] I would make a horrible copy editor. Nor would I be able to hold down a job at Peachtree Editorial and Proofreading.
It's their job to proofread editions of the Bible for various publishers. "Bible readers are less forgiving of errors because they expect perfection in the Bible text," says June Gunden, one of Peachtree's founders.
To remind them of the importance of their task, they have prominently displayed a list of critical Bible errors from the past. The most famous one is found in the "Adulterer's Bible" of 1631. The "not" is conveniently omitted from Exodus 20:14. Thus it reads, "Thou shalt commit adultery." Another one, dubbed the "Unrighteous Bible," omits the "not" in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and has Paul saying that the "unrighteous shall inherit the Kingdom of God."
One of Peachtree's most recent projects was the Holman Christian Standard Bible. For two years, workers meticulously scanned each page multiple times in order to weed out errors. Gunden says that many employees view their work as an extension of their faith and regularly pray about it.
Small things can be important. This morning we're going to begin talking about what we Christians see as the biggest event in history—the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is the fulcrum on which everything else turns. Its significance cannot possibly be overstated.
But, as this pivotal week begins, we start with a humble act of faith from an anonymous woman. It is an act that Jesus' followers dismiss as insignificant and wasteful. But Jesus sees it differently. He comes to her defense. What impresses Jesus is that this woman has done something, anything at all, that honors him.
There's an important lesson in there for us. We are not called to worry about the greatness of our efforts. We are just called to put forth the effort. I hope we can all be challenged to do what we can for God this morning.