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Would I have given Jesus anything so costly? Have I ever given to Jesus so sacrificially? These are the questions I ponder when I read about Mary’s extravagance. She gives Jesus a gift that she cannot recoup. Her gift is a once-in-a-lifetime sacrifice.

Throughout Lent, it is helpful to consider...

O God, help me to open my hand and heart today to give all that I can. Help me to give out of gratitude for your grace. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
April 1–7, 2019
Scripture Overview

God is constantly performing works of renewal. Isaiah had warned Israel of judgment, yet here the prophet turns his attention to the other part of God’s message, that of restoration. God will breathe new life into the people, like sending rivers into the desert. The psalmist celebrates a communal festival in honor of the renewing deeds of God, who has turned their weeping into joy. Paul also experiences this work of renewal. He previously had boasted of his privileged position in society, but God has changed his thinking so that he considers his knowledge of Christ his greatest possession. In John a woman named Mary begins to point our attention to Christ’s coming passion by anointing Jesus’ feet. Crowds begin to gather, and the stage is set for the impending conflict.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 43:16-21. When have you seen God make a way for a new thing in your life?
Read Psalm 126. Consider how your joy and laughter might heal others.
Read Philippians 3:4b-14. When has God’s strength helped you finish a race, literally or metaphorically?
Read John 12:1-8. God gives gifts to all of us. How do you share your gift from God with others?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.