Sunday, March 17, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 33: March 17

Sunday, March 17, 2013: Honoring Jesus 

John 12:1-8 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. 

Jesus had been invited to dinner and while eating a woman – in this gospel, Mary - came up carrying a bottle of expensive perfume. She opened the bottle and poured this expensive perfume on Jesus. Some of those present became furious with her as they felt what she had done was a sheer waste; it could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and money given to the poor. They were irritated at her behavior, became absolutely angry and very critical of what she had done until Jesus stopped them. 

He told them to quit giving her a hard time as she had done something wonderfully significant for him. Though the poor they would always have and could do something for them, not so for him. This woman did what she could when she pre-anointed his body for burial. In the midst of all that was before her, before Jesus, before these “guests”, she had honored Jesus in such a way that he assured her people wouldn’t forget. 

Though this is a small glimpse into the unfolding of all the events of what was to come during the time we know as Holy Week, it raises a powerful question for us all: “how do we by our actions and our disposal/use of resources, show honor to Jesus?” 

I believe the invitation to be a part of Imagine No Malaria in our United Methodist Church has been one of the most powerful expressions of action and commitment to the use of our resources to show “honor to Jesus”. To be given the opportunity to literally “put over the heads of children and anoint them” with the life-saving mosquito net, to not only save their lives from this deadly disease, but to be the agents of change, education and hope in Africa is life-changing for me. That we, as a United Methodist Church, can do this is “to honor Jesus”! 

As we near the end of our journey in this Lenten season, may our participation in Imagine No Malaria remind us that we have the power to act and use our resources to significantly impact and transform our world to “honor” Jesus. 

Prayer: O God, as we begin this journey into Holy Week, may we stop and find those ways we can honor Jesus in who we are, what we do and how we give. Amen 

Rev. Liz Lopez, District Superintendent Twin Cities District, Minnesota Conference 

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