Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Church

March 22, 2014

Dr. Michael Layne: Giving up or taking on?

John 12:1-8 Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. 2A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

3Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.

4A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, 5”Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

7Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.”

One of the things we can do during Lent is to survey our thinking about giving to the Lord. I know that anytime we talk about or give a homily about “giving,” we know that some seem to cringe at the thought of sitting through another message about their resources and the importance of giving to God.

How do we give to the Lord? One of the ways in which we give, most certainly, is through our giving of money. We give to God through the church most often. Let’s face it, if we are a part of a local church it takes all of us working together to keep the doors of the church open so that, hopefully, we will be viable ministries in our communities.

As we see in this Gospel reading, Mary is giving her best to our Lord. She pours the best and most expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet. Ever wondered about the reason for people in that time to pay attention to foot washing before a meal? When they met for dinner they were not sitting upright in a chair as we usually do today, but were in a reclining position and the feet would be close to their neighbor. I think we get the picture of why clean feet were important for enjoying the meal.

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