Loving God, bring your Word to life for me today. Plant it deep in my heart. Give me ears to hear your tender voice.next >
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. Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), complained, “This perfume was worth a year’s wages! Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would take what was in it.)
Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone. This perfume was to be used in preparation for my burial, and this is how she has used it. You will always have the poor among you, but you won’t always have me.”
John 12:1-8next >
They call her Mama Cheetah. She’s not really sure where the nickname came from nor does she seem interested in trying to remember. She is too busy — too busy feeding the urban homeless population in the large city where I live.
One Saturday, I went down to help, and the smell of the food hit me almost a block away as I was getting out of my car. It smelled spicy and rich. Warmth and care radiated from the large serving dishes. This wasn’t going to be a meal of cold cuts and crackers. It was going to be a feast.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I asked Mama Cheetah about the food. She said it took hours to get the seasoning just right and that many nights she was up past midnight working on it. I asked her why she went to so much trouble since it wasn’t for a fancy restaurant. She smiled and said, “It’s more than a fancy restaurant. Son, didn’t you know we’re feeding Jesus today?”
Wade Griffithnext >
Lord, you loved us with an extravagance that is difficult to grasp or express. Help us to follow in your path today by lavishing our love on your children, particularly the lost, the least, and the hurting. Amen.next >
To believe in Jesus is to receive his costly love. To follow him is to share that love with others.
How will you share the love of Jesus today?
Wade Griffith is the pastor of Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL. He is married to Julia and they have two boys, Wade (5) and Haines (3). In his meager spare time, Wade likes to backpack, hunt, read, exercise, and garden.
Wondrous Love: What Wondrous Love Is This?
Mark Hayes - markhayes.com