The Big Spender

Raymond Rewerts

READ : John 12:1–11

Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment . . . and anointed the feet of Jesus. (v. 3)

Every so often we come across the proverbial “big spender.” He overtips the waitress; he doesn’t hesitate to make a night of it and sign the tab for over a hundred dollars. She says she “owes it to herself” and buys that outrageously priced dress.

Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, took a pound of costly ointment and in an act of spontaneous love, poured it over Jesus’ feet. It was a simple act of affection that was totally unconcerned about the cost. Of those who witnessed it, Judas spoke out and saw it as waste. He saw it as money that might have better been put to some immediate alleviation of human suffering. At that point Judas would still have received considerable applause today.

We still have those who say it’s far more important to bake a cake for the Boy Scout Jamboree than it is to waste time in quiet reflection in a house of worship. But we might well ask ourselves when we last were so overwhelmed with the splendor of Jesus that we lost all our earthly common sense. When did we last, in sheer appreciation, sing so lustily that it was embarrassing to others, or drop to our knees in a worship service? Surely, there must be somewhere where we can say we were “lost in wonder, love and praise”? (originally published December 9, 1978)

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for being worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing forever. Amen.