The Holy Gospel: March 17, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 12:1-8

Meditation:  Extravagant Love

When I read this passage, I always think of Mrs. Rogers, a member of the church I served in Kentucky while I was in seminary.

One day, when Jeannie and I were visiting in her home, she asked if she could play the guitar for us.  Without hesitation and with expectation, we said, “Yes, please do.”

The next few minutes were excruciating.  She simply could not play the guitar…or…sing in tune with it.  But if you could have seen the look on her face, you would have agreed with us that it was one of the most beautiful “music moments” we had ever witnessed.

When she finished, she asked in utter earnestness, “I’ve always wanted to play and sing at church.  Could I bring my guitar to Wednesday-night prayer meeting and do that?”

We could not say “No.”  And as we expected, Mrs. Rogers played and sang with the same ineptness that we had seen when we visited her earlier.

But…if you could have seen the look on her face (as everyone there that evening did), you would have agreed that even the angels were pleased with her performance.

We will never know what Mary’s face looked like, but to this day, I am convinced that it looked like Mrs. Rogers’ face when she was playing her guitar and singing for Jesus.

And I am certain that Jesus said to Mrs. Rogers what he said to Mary’s critics on the day she broke the jar of perfume, put it on his feet, and wiped them with her tears (as Mark records the incident in 14:3-9), “Let her alone…She has done a beautiful thing for me.”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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