Pause

The shadows are gathering and you are called to come away. Come away to think, to pray, to rest – and to prepare.

There are many things – right now – pulling at your mind and heart. But commit yourself to this time, these moments; God is here as always, your companion along the journey of faith, to help you focus on what awaits you now.

Open your mind and heart to Word and Spirit and Truth. Allow love to move you and to change you, even in small ways that will call you forward.

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Listen

Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Lazarus and his sisters hosted a dinner for him. Martha served and Lazarus was among those who joined him at the table. Then Mary took an extraordinary amount, almost three-quarters of a pound, of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She anointed Jesus’ feet with it, then wiped his feet dry with her hair. The house was filled with the aroma of the perfume.

John 12:1-3

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Think

Jesus leaves Jerusalem to spend time in a quieter, calmer location – the home of friends. You might say that, though he was not alone this time, Jesus sees this visit as a kind of retreat. That would be just like him; Jesus made a habit of getting away, especially when he needed a time of preparation.

Jesus knew what was next. He had to make room to gather himself, to gather his thoughts, to gather his courage.

But he may not have been ready for the expression of love that meets him at the hands of his friend Mary. She spills perfume over his feet – extravagantly – and by her act, so much like that of people preparing a body for burial, foretells what lies ahead for Jesus.

The symbolism was not lost on Jesus. Within a matter of hours he would begin the short journey back to Jerusalem. Was he prepared for what awaited him there? Are you prepared to follow him?

Nick Foster

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Pray

God, as this final week of Lent begins, help me to prepare myself for what lies ahead. And, like Mary’s gift, may my love for Jesus become extravagant as well. Amen.

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Go

Out from the shadows God is calling you.
Even when all seems lost,
Love will not be denied.

Go now to leave the shadows;
Live into the light
Even as you await the dawn.

Nick Foster

Nick Foster is executive director of Voluntary Action Center in Columbia, Missouri where he lives with his wife, Candace, and their daughter, Carlann. Nick's two sons, John Paul and Justin, live too far away in Alabama.

Walking Toward Morning: Holy Holy

Ken Medema - kenmedema.com

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