Many of us know the story, but I think we overlook it. On the Monday before Jesus’ death, he stops to have a dinner with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (the friend he raised from the dead). Lazarus is at the table with Jesus, Martha serves the dinner, but where is Mary? Like the story from Luke 10, she’s at his feet.
Mary is in tune with her spiritual life, understanding when a moment is holy and deserves attention. In Luke 10, she places herself at the feet of Jesus, feeding off every word that comes from his mouth. In John 12, she places herself at the feet of Jesus again, but this time she’s giving something back. She knows that Jesus is going to be crucified, and whether or not she knows there will be no time for a burial prep, she uses an expensive oil to prepare him for just that.
The challenges from Mary’s example are 1) to be sure that we take the time to be ministered to by Jesus; but 2) to also be sure that we take the time in our worship to minister to Jesus through our devotion. Never think that you cannot give back to God. The psalmist exclaims in 116,
12 What shall I return to the Lord
for all his bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful ones.
Lift up the good news of God’s saving work in response for his goodness toward you; live your life of devotion without shame; understand that God sees the death of the faithful and has pity (whether Lazarus, whom Jesus wept over, or Jesus himself, who lived a faithful life for all of us).
This week, spend plenty of time at Jesus’ feet. At times, learn from his words. At other times, minister to him through your love and faithfulness to his sacrifice.
May it be so, O Lord.