Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reflecting the extravagance of God

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 12:1-11

TO CHEW ON:But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone, she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not always have.’” John 12:7-8

“For the poor you have with you always.” Doesn’t that sound awfully familiar? Indeed, we read the passage that Jesus is referring to, yesterday. He is quoting it in defense of Mary who had just anointed His feet with oil of spikenard - a most expensive perfume made from the dried roots of the nard plant and imported in alabaster containers from its native India. Jesus defended her after Judas’ criticism: “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor.”

Judas’ reaction is rooted in a thought process common to us. It goes something like: There is only a limited amount of resources (of any kind). Therefore I must look out for myself, making sure I get enough. (In this case Judas getting enough involved swiping from the disciples’ collective purse; some of those 300 denarii would doubtless have found their way into his pocket.)

Jesus, on the other hand, operated by an entirely different economy. He accepted this wasteful and precious act of love, interpreting it in a way that probably sent chills down Mary’s back as well as everyone who heard Him: “She has kept this for the day of my burial.” In heaven’s economy it was but a poor symbol of His extravagance to us when He died, taking the punishment for our sin.

Don’t you just love Mary’s lavish outpouring of devotion? We can begin to respond the same way to God and others when we operate on the assumption that in God our resources are limitless. My giving to you does not deplete those resources to me. God is the source of not one pie, cut in a finite number of pieces, but an infinite number of pies! It makes about as much sense as God the creator, forming distant galaxies, deep ocean fish and high alpine flowers that no eyes but His will see.

PRAYER: Dear God, may my attitude be rooted in Your abundance. I want to be like Mary – giving to You (and to others) with open-handed abandon. Amen.


"Pour My Love On You" by Dan Dean and Gary Sadler, (sung here by Jonathan Stockstill, I think).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...