Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death. They gave a dinner for him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. Then Mary took half a litre of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured all of it on Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. (verses 1-3)
Read John 12:1-11
This is top quality perfume, and there’s a large bottle of it. In one lavish, extravagant act Mary uses the lot; she goes overboard for Jesus.
Have you ever been extravagant for Jesus, ever gone overboard for him? Have you, like Mary, grabbed with both hands an opportunity to show Jesus how much you love him and want to serve him?
Maybe there are opportunities waiting for us right now. Opportunities to do what we’re good at and to really get stuck into it. Opportunities to give generously where money is needed. Opportunities to open our homes wider in friendship to others. All out of love for Jesus.
Extravagance of time, energy and money comes at a personal cost—but who’s counting? Mary didn’t. Having seen on Calvary the extravagant love of Jesus for us, let’s not either.
Jesus, open my eyes to the opportunities around me for me to lavishly live out my love for you. Amen.
by Grace Simpson, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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