Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 17, 2013 – John 12:1-8

These last three weeks,
We seem to be on the theme of extravagance -
Extravagant care for that lazy fig tree,
Extravagant welcome for that lazy brother,
Extravagant defense for that lazy...
Wait! (You say.)
Hold on here!
You don't mean that Mary....
Well, didn't Martha seem to think so?
And once again, she's serving;
I wonder what she's thinking of her sister this time?
And Judas certainly wants to give a good impression,
That he knows the value of a buck,
Talking as if Mary hadn't really earned
That perfume she'd bought.
Maybe Judas was even sweet on Mary!
But he found her unstealable,
Since she was only sweet on the One
Who points the way
To extravagant death,
Which points the way
To extravagant love.

Scott L. Barton
March, 2013

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

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