Monday of Holy Week
The reading set for today is one of the most evocative in Holy Week due to the provoking of all the senses, sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Perhaps you could light a scented candle or anoint yourselves with a sweet-scented fragrance to bring the story to life as you read it.
John 12. 1-11
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So, the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
The Judas and Mary in Us – Ian Cowie (Wild Goose Publications)
As we continue our journey through Holy Week
we ponder the strange interweaving of the love of God
with both human sin and human goodness.
Sin and goodness write a story in each of our lives.
In each of us, and in each congregation, both Mary and Judas are to be found.
But we know too, that the love of God in Christ redeems it all.
Therefore, in quietness, let us confront the Judas in us, who could spoil everything, and allow the Mary in each of us to find some beautiful thing to do for God.
In this time of silence we ask: O God ….. what can we do for you?
What we have purposed in our hearts, enable us to carry through.
Silence the sensible disciple in us who would think it a waste.
Silence the Judas in us who would begrudge the money and the effort.
Nothing is too good for you, Lord.
Nothing is too bad for you to love.
May we individually, and your church as a whole,
be known for the extravagant love which makes us fools for Christ’s sake.
(Wild Goose Publications Material Used with permission www.ionabooks.com)