The Most Rev. Dr. Caleb A. Maduoma, Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Ideato Anglican Diocese has expressed concern about the Christian attitude towards giving to God and His Church. He made this known during the Third Session of the Fifth Synod of the diocese, held at the Anglican Cathedral of St. Peter, Arondizuogu, Ideato-North LGA, Imo State. He added that it is quite disturbing that some Christians especially Anglicans consider it as a “waste” or misplaced priority to make generous donations to the Church.
Speaking on the Synod theme, “The Christian Life: Why this waste” as got from Matthew chapter 26 verse 8, the Archbishop stated that even more worrisome is the way certain people condemn givers in the Church adding that most often those guilty of this behaviour are relatives of the donors who consider themselves better beneficiaries of such offering than the Church. The Cleric likened this attitude to that of Judas Iscariot in the Bible, who accused Mary of wasting money, because she wiped Christ’s feet with an expensive perfume. According to him, Judas’ attitude to the value of Mary’s gift is that of a natural man and thus, he thought it unfortunate that Christians cannot be exonerated from this wrong mindset. He also emphasized the reaction of Jesus to this act performed by Mary and the pronouncement of Jesus that Mary’s name will always be linked with the story.
He expatiated further on the text read from the book of Matthew and drew a contrast between the record of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. Bishop Maduoma pointed out that in the books of Mark and John, the disciples were said to have estimated the cost of the perfume to be three hundred denarii, which to him, represented very nearly a whole year’s wages for a working man. It could therefore be concluded, he said, that Mary took the most precious thing she had and poured it out on Jesus.
The Cleric called the attention of the delegates and guests to the various lessons that ought to be learnt by all and sundry. He said that Mary exhibited true love for Christ, which according to him never calculates or thinks of how little it can decently give; but rather makes one to give to the uttermost limits. Also, Most Rev. Maduoma taught that this story shows that there are times when the reasonable view of things fails, adding that the voice of reason was probably saying, “Why this waste?” And to him, humanly speaking, they were right! However, he added that there is a world of difference between the economics of common sense and the economics of love. He further stated that there is in life a large place for common sense, but there are times when only love extravagance can meet love demands. Thirdly, the Bishop explained that certain things must be done when the opportunity arises as there may not be another similar situation; just as Mary would never have had any other chance to anoint Jesus in preparation for His death. Finally, he called all to the realization that the fragrance of a lovely deed lasts forever.
In conclusion, the Most Rev. Dr. Caleb Maduoma charged the Church to note that unlike the government which can raise its revenue by taxation, and resource revenue, the Church is a voluntary organization that relies entirely on its members and well-wishers to give money out of their own volition to sustain it. Therefore, he stated that this is the task before the Church and the reason for the choice of the Synod theme, adding that he is aware that there are doubting Thomases and Judases who will still ask, “Why this waste?” But the Lord’s name, he said must be exalted and His Church must march on in strength.
By Ngozi Maduoma