Journey to the Cross


Without warning I felt a hand grip my heart. It was abrupt and startling. …

The love of Christ, the crucified Son of God, took on the wild fury of a sudden spring storm. Like a dam bursting, a spasm of convulsive crying erupted from the depths of my soul.

Jesus died on the cross for me.

Brennan Manning in Dear Abba: Morning and Evening Prayer (2014)


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 12:1-8


As a child, I would sometimes receive the gift of money on a birthday or another occasion. Maybe it was a five-dollar bill from my grandmother, tucked into a birthday card. And I remember looking at the money with a sense of wonder: “What will I spend it on?”

I remember discovering the power of choice; and learning that making the decision was the hard part. Do I buy something fun, right away with this gift? Do I save it and put it towards something bigger that I wanted to buy?

Jesus' friend, Mary, had chosen to purchase an expensive perfume and then to use it to adorn Jesus' feet. Could she have done something different with it? Of course. But this was her choice.

How do we decide to use the gifts we have been given? Where do we invest our time, our energy, our resources? How might the gifts we have be shared in ways that serve God's people and honor Jesus, from whom all good things come?

Todd Buegler


Dear Jesus, you journey to the cross, and you call me to follow. You have given me all I have. I ask for wisdom as I seek ways to use my gifts to serve my siblings and to bring glory to you.

Lead me, Lord Jesus, to the cross that brings death, and to the cross that brings resurrection.

In your holy name I pray, amen.


May God bless your steps as you make your way on difficult paths.

May God bless your steps as you navigate fear, guilt, and shame.

May God bless your steps as you seek new ways to follow Jesus.

May God bless your steps as you accompany the broken and those on the margins.

May God bless your steps as you experience new ways of bearing hope to a world in need.

May God bless your steps as you journey to the cross.