Daily Devotion - March 29, 2021 - Which One Are You?

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – March 29, 2021
John 12:1-11
Weekly Theme: Christ Lives
Today: Which One Are You?

Years ago, as a youth director, I attended an event with several youth from my church. It was a wonderful experience during which I found myself being touched as much as the youth who attended with me. On the last day, we attended worship and learned about the power of being anointed. The service concluded with an invitation to be anointed by several pastors who were located at different stations within the worship center. There were no words exchanged but I remember the face of the pastor who anointed me as if it were yesterday. In her silence and through her actions, I heard her say without whispering a single word. “I don’t know what is on your mind or heart, but I care, and I love you”. And with a gentle brush of her index finger, she made the sign of the cross. She was a representative of Jesus in that moment, conveying what Jesus would express to me without saying a word. Jesus anoints us with his love but in today’s passage, Mary anointed Jesus to show him her love.

Jesus is at the home of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha served, while Lazarus reclined at the table fellowshipping with Jesus and the other guests, and Mary took a pint of expensive perfume, anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair, filling the house with fragrance. Judas Iscariot reveals the first signs of deviance and objects to her actions, as he questions why she would waste such extravagance on anointing Jesus feet,  rather than selling the perfume and giving the money to the poor. In his heart, he did not care about the poor  because he was the money keeper and a thief who stole from the poor himself. His statement about stealing from the poor was spoken out of selfish and evil motives.

But Jesus, the anointed One, the One who was anointed by God to come to earth and show us how to live, replies to Judas. He relays that Mary was saving the perfume for his burial and reminds him that the poor will always be around but that he would not be. He said this in defense of Mary who was the only one in this house who worshipped him, and adored him by anointing him with expensive perfume and wiping in with her hair, not as an extravagant act but to show Jesus how very much she loved him.

This Holy Week, I invite you to join me by identifying yourself in this story. Are you like Martha the one who busies herself serving? Perhaps you see yourself as Lazarus, resting in and fellowshipping and with Jesus and the other guests. Maybe you see yourself as Judas, a betrayer, who pretends to be concerned and questions the acts of others while you are keeping for yourself that which is intended for the poor. Or are you like Mary, the one who bows down and worships Jesus through an extravagant act of worship? Perhaps you are you like the chief priests, plotting to squelch the witness of others. How do you respond to Jesus? Which one are you?  Think about it.

Dear God, during Holy Week, help us worship You with all we have and all we are. Amen.

  August 2021  
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