Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lent 2014: Mary of Bethany

John 12:1-8
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There's always more than one way to use the resources entrusted to us. Our time, our talents, our experience, our money, could all be used in another way to benefit another group of people. If you interact with others enough, there will always be someone telling you that you should use your resources differently, to benefit another set of individuals "more worthy" of benefiting from them than the group currently being blessed. Yes, Mary could have blessed a large number of poor individuals with the money she spent on the expensive nard perfume. She could have used it to start a business with the profits going to even more poor persons. She could have chosen a particular set of needy individuals--orphans, lepers, widows--and focused her talents on improving their situations. Many Christians since Mary have done just that and made a lasting difference in the world. But in focusing on what Mary could have done with the money (and how he could have profited from her choice), Judas missed the significance of what she did choose to use it on. Yes, she could have used that money to make a difference in the lives of some individuals. But it would not have fixed the problem altogether: there would still be poor, illiterate, unhealthy people, as there always will be even if we used every last resource in the world trying to fix their situation.
Mary gave everything she had to the Lord. As we should also. Receiving our whole selves, He can direct us in the right path and provide all we need to make a lasting impact on the world. After all, since He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10), even if we empty out every resource at His feet, He is perfectly capable of replenishing those resources a thousand fold so we can accomplish far more than we would ever have been able to on our own. So what if someone thinks we should use those resources in another way? Do we follow the advice of Judas, the betrayer and thief, or do we empty ourselves out in love toward the Lord and follow His path for our future? Give everything to Christ and allow Him to decide if and how He would like you to use the resources He has entrusted to you.

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