Daily Devotional for Holy Week: Monday 2020

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.”When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

John 21:1-11

In Bethany, the day before Jesus enters Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna”, he shares a meal with Lazarus and his sisters. Judas calls into question how the women spend their money. Irony, the thief and betrayer of Jesus questioning the use of funds. We all have motives, the struggle of how to spend our time, money, talents is always right in front of us. Currently we are all facing a new reality of decisions. Jobs have been lost. We fear for our own safety as we provide for others. We seek out help, while fearing we could spread death.

As we each face a Holy Week, an Easter different than we have ever known, make room for the extraordinary. The critic will always be in our ear questioning what we do; but, God is always present encouraging and confirming the extraordinary. Mary chose the extraordinary. She chose to serve the servant. She chose to wash the most important and most exposed part of Jesus. She chose to do this in an extraordinary way with her hair and expensive oil. She chose to do this because it was needed. It was appropriate. She didn’t need anyone’s approval and she didn’t need a critique of her actions. These passages are not meant to tell us about poor people always being present. These passages are telling us the importance of Jesus physical presence in that place, at that time. Mary understands and her motives are pure. Be a servant to “The Servant of All”.

Listen to your heart. Listen to your heart where Christ is present. Ignore the critic. Give generously of all you have. Receive with joy the gifts of others. When you see pain, anoint it with the healing oil of love. When you suffer, let those who love you, hold and bless you. We each are living with unique circumstances in a troubling time. Take a moment and see God, hear God, affirming your needs and assets. Whatever you do or need, know Christ is there quieting the critic with words of truth and love.

Amen! and Amen!
Stay safe. Stay healthy and proclaim the gospel!
Pastor Lee

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