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The costly offering


Scripture:   John 12:1-8

Lord,  I am haunted by Mary's unreasonable extravagance as she poured the precious ointment on your feet.   Part of me agrees with those who rebuked her,  that the money could have been better spent  -  in feeding the poor or paying the bills or supporting the temple.

But you would have none of it.   Unembarrassed,  you accepted her gift of ointment and tears and the house was filled with the fragrance.

This goes against the grain for me.   I have learned the hard way that money is not to be thrown around,  that I must live with prudence and modesty,  thrift and discipline,  or life will get out of hand.

Teach me,  Lord,  that there are times when love requires something more than habit and routine,  a rigid timetable and a balanced cheque book.   Lord of the dance,  do you sometimes invite me to join you in fresh and spontaneous responses to life,  to allow myself to be vulnerable,  to make the unexpected gift,  to show my love in gesture and embrace,  and let myself go without fear of others' censure  -  to break the iron disciplines of every day?

  • Must I always rein in my emotions because of what others may think of me?
  • Is my forgiveness of those who hurt me always to be cold and conditional?
  • Am I never to reach out to others in case they rebuff me?
Lord,  Mary knew that her moment had come and might never come again.   Will you rescue me from my imprisoning inhibitions,  help me to know when it is time to cast prudence aside,  break open the spikenard and fill the house with the fragrance of love.


©  Selwyn Dawson


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