When is the last time you described something as extravagant? Maybe a lavish dinner out when the boss wanted to spare no expense celebrating a new venture. Or, when your extravagant gift conveyed lavish love and that delighted another. Extravagant is literally to go beyond the full measure of what is expected. This week, our text from John 12 describes an expression of extravagant love that powers extravagant mission.
We get a glimpse of true love in action when Jesus journeys to Bethany, his happy place at the home of his best friends, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. And yes, that Lazarus! The one “whom Jesus had raised from the dead.” While Lazarus was indeed a unique host, it was the way Mary expressed her gratitude to Jesus that shocked all the guests and provoked Judas, (Yes, that Judas!) to condemn her gift as extravagant, too pricey, overboard, and scandalous. (He reasoned that the fragrant, extravagant gift could have been sold and the money given to the poor. While that’s not a bad idea, find out on Sunday what Jesus had to say as his feet were anointed, and how he responded to Judas, because, Extravagrant Love and Extravagant Mission are inextricably bound together!
This week, “you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love” (Ephesians 3:18a). There is a place for you, here! (If you’re new to our church, discover more about what we believe and why we do what we do by visiting a special Welcome First-Time Guests page on our website, here.)