Prayer: Dear Jesus, may we remember to love you extravagantly when we have the chance. Amen
Reading: John 12: 1-8 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Pretty smelling soaps and lotions are such a treat and so popular. There are whole stores for just such things. Such an extravagance! So many scents it is hard to choose a favorite. The best I can do is have a different favorite for different seasons. I have a springtime favorite and recently got it out so the aroma could convince me spring is just around the corner. There are still patches of snow on the ground but the sun is shining brighter, warmer and longer these days. Time for Sea Island Cotton! Only problem was, that bottle of lotion must have been around for too many years and, after putting it on, I realized the good smell had gone bad. I could barely stand myself. Lesson learned. Pretty smelling lotion does not last forever. Use it when you have the chance.
Mary anointed Jesus with costly perfume and the fragrance filled the house. Judas Iscariot criticized her for the extravagance when the money could have been used for the poor. (Truth be told, Judas was prone to stealing from the common purse so chances are the poor would not have received anything.) Jesus simply told Judas to leave Mary alone. She was serving her Lord by anointing his feet with perfume as she would do the same again at his burial. The poor would always be with them but not Jesus. Use it when you have the chance.
Let's not hold back in our love for the Lord. Let's use the gifts we have to serve when we have the chance. --Ruth Gates
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