Friday, March 24, 2017

Beautiful Extravagance

Thursday, at daybreak, I spread two bags of apple flavored deer corn in the west pasture and two large scoops of black oil sunflower seed under the bird feeders. About that time a friend sent me a text asking if any turkeys were making their presence known. Not a gobble or a cluck to be heard. Since then, I've talked, texted, and met with a slew of different people throughout the day. Now, my evening is free. No need to be anywhere except The Shire where I can write a little and read a lot.

I continue to work through the events of Christ's passion week. On Sunday we will focus on Mary's anointing of Jesus; an act of extravagant worship. Chronologically it happened eight days before his resurrection. It's a scene of high emotion and instruction. Jesus said Mary's profuse outpouring of love for him--going forward--would be recalled whenever the gospel was preached.

One thing, among many, comes to mind. Rarely do we tend toward extravagance in our worship. You know, the kind like Mary's. Over-the-top in generous adoration and sacrifice. Breaking her alabaster jar, its contents equivalent of a years income, was extreme. In the wings and looking on was Judas, predisposed toward treachery and guile. From another account of this story in the gospels he hypocritically complained and deemed the entire episode a waste of resources. Should have been sold and the money given to the poor. He piously spouted. Quite the ruse for one who would sell his soul and sellout his Savior for 30 pieces of silver. In his response, Jesus didn't blink. Why do you trouble this woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial... ~ Matthew 26

But in all honesty, I'm more concerned with my own miserliness when it comes to worship. Sure, I can look back over the years and recall points when I've given a lot, but I would be hard pressed to lay claim to extravagance. Giving of myself--my all--has always been measured and guarded.


It's a great time to take pause, remember, and proclaim: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty you might become rich. ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

Talk about extravagant...

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