The Daily Office | February 19, 2018
Psalms 95, 96, 97
Psalms 98, 99, 100, 101
Collect: The First Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations, and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
In the midst of the anguish of this Matthew 26, Jesus gathers with his disciples around Simon's table. A woman comes with a jar of expensive perfume and pours it on Jesus’ head. Imagine if you were Jesus, sitting with your dearest of friends knowing they would betray you, deny you, and run away, how this gift of love would feel.
Is it any wonder that when his disciples criticized her that Jesus rose to her defense or that this gift of love is remembered along with the gospel? Did Jesus think of her in the following days that led to his crucifixion? Was it in his mind as he shared Passover with his disciples and spoke of the pouring out of his own blood for them? Did her offering help him as he walked the road to Calvary? Did her willingness to face humiliation for the sake of love encourage Jesus during his own humiliation? Was she afraid? What did she feel when Jesus rose to her defense and commend her act? Did the disciples think back to her action later as they too poured out themselves for the work of the gospel?
Find yourself in this story. Have you ever received such a generous act of love? What was its impact? Have you found yourself sitting in a place of judgement for the love another has shown to someone that seemed wasteful to you? Think about that. How can you show this kind of extravagant love? What might it mean to another?