It was the last week of His earthly life. Only Jesus and those in His inner circle knew that threats were rising, but the immediacy of the betrayal, trial, and crucifixion did not seem to be of obvious concern in their minds. Jesus spent important moments and time with His disciples, friends, and followers, knowing that these final memories would last a lifetime and hold immeasurable value as time passed and the challenges of following Him grew more difficult.
Meanwhile, the chief priests and scribes were preoccupied with the Savior’s demise. Despite all His goodness, teaching, and gospel proclamations about “the kingdom of heaven being at hand,” the religious community in Jerusalem was split down the middle, with polar opposite perspectives, affections, love, and hate for the Nazorean carpenter and Rabbi.
In the city before the Passover feast, many diverse people from faraway places were present, each with different motives for the Passover and their reactions to recent events related to a self-proclaimed Messiah and prophet. Their agendas, intentions, and actions were beginning to form concrete plans and specific actions.
Amidst this swirling cacophony of activity, Jesus sat at dinner with Simon, a leper He had previously healed. At the table, Mary, identified in John’s account, broke an alabaster jar and anointed the feet of the Master with expensive oil. All four gospels record this incident and extravagant act of love and devotion.
Jesus accepted her gift, acknowledged its significance, and promised that her act of love would be preached wherever the gospel is shared, as a memorial to her. This was a special moment between the Master and a disciple who owed Him much and could not help expressing her devotion. Jesus honored and accepted it.
However, some present at the table saw the act as an unjustified, lavish, and practically unwarranted waste of valuable resources. Their relationship with the teacher was different, transactional, and pragmatic, leading them to pass judgment on how someone else’s money should be spent.
But Jesus simply said, “She has done what she could.”
This fall, we are planning a series of stories and, in some cases, bringing specific live auction items that represent unique talents, skills, interests, resources, and passions that people have and have chosen to lay at the Master’s feet in support of the work of “caring for the fatherless.”
While there are already many good stories and examples, we want to highlight them with new stories and examples under the biblical example of “She has done what she could.”
Here are a few from the past and some presently underway. Enjoy, be inspired, and do what you can do.
Matt and Lori Bradley – The Silver Coin Project
My name is Matt Bradley, and my wife, Lori, and our family live in St. Louis, MO. We worship with the Church of Christ congregation in St. Charles (Hackmann Rd), where I serve as an elder. My wife and I are pharmacists by education, but I also own and operate an online precious metals business, www.archcitybullion.com.
During the Spring of 2023, we attended a fundraiser for Brad and Hannah Burkhart in Louisville to help with their adoption expenses. This was my first encounter and experience with the Sacred Selections organization. I was struck by the impact of their mission thus far – the number of adoptions, funds raised, families supported, and their efforts to provide for the fatherless.
The event had a profound impact on me, making me wonder, “What more can I do?” As a response, I thought of leveraging my expertise in precious metals to raise funds. So, I reached out to David and Dana to offer the idea of providing coins to be auctioned at these events.
Thankfully, David was excited about the idea and rallied around it. I am grateful for this opportunity to support the mission of Sacred Selections, and I hope that this effort will be useful, inspiring others to find creative ways to contribute their talents as well.
Doug Blount – Hiker “Extraordinaire”
Hiking is a simple process for Doug: “One step after another and one step at a time.” But the lessons that can be gleaned from each step can be profound. “Hiking allows you to test your resourcefulness with only what you can carry. This magnifies life lessons and spiritual lessons, helping you focus on what is truly important and disregard the rest. Because the things that don’t really matter will weigh you down (Hebrews 12:1-2). I also love that I can experience parts of nature that not as many people can.”
Doug reached out to Sacred Selections a few months ago with an idea that blossomed on the trail and in the pew. As an elder at the Eastside church of Christ, Doug has witnessed the positive impact of Sacred Selections on several families that received grants from the foundation. He sees how the organization cares for the fatherless and practices pure religion.
His idea emerged from time alone in the woods, time in prayer on the pew, and witnessing the growth of adopted children in the families he helps guide and shepherd. “I am motivated to serve Sacred Selections in a unique way that highlights someone doing a hard thing for other people. In turn, this elevates how much love and sacrifice Sacred Selections families give, doing things that are exponentially harder for the love of children. This is a ‘WE’ journey, not a ‘ME’ journey.”
With joy, optimism, and confidence, Doug smiles at his goal of turning his passion into a purpose to help the mission with a contribution of $40,000. Every step counts, and you’ll have a chance to follow along as Doug shares his journey with us.
Kids Coast to Coast Summer Campaign
During the Florida College Lectures in February 2023, Dana met a wonderful young lady and mother of three after their presentation on “Caring for the Fatherless: Doing Honorable Things.” Hannah was “moved with compassion” and wanted to figure out how to put her compassion to work. After two hours of brainstorming with Dana, Hannah found a way to involve her three children in the mission of caring for the fatherless.
Parents can show their children the way they live, not just the things they believe, as part of raising them “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Hannah’s idea resulted in the “Kids Coast to Coast for Sacred Selections” summer campaign. The campaign encourages children to raise money “for the babies” in creative ways, such as lemonade stands, cookies, “pie-the-preacher,” making crafts, providing household cleaning, yard work, and making bread.
As of this writing, the kids have raised about $10,000. It’s a testament to the great job parents are doing in teaching and training their little ones to walk worthy of the manner of life to which they have been called.