“Do you really know the living Jesus – not from books but from being with Him in your heart? Have you heard the loving words He speaks to you?… The devil may try to use the hurts of life, and sometimes our own mistakes – to make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you, is really cleaving to you. This is a danger for all of us. And so sad, because it is completely the opposite of what Jesus is really wanting, waiting to tell you. Not only that He loves you, but even more – He longs for you.”
– Mother Teresa
Ponder: Carry this quote with you today. Read it every hour. How does it feel/sound and, do you hear it differently in the evening as you did earlier in the morning?
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.”
Ponder: Imagine yourself as Judas in the story, how would you have reacted, how do you hear this story, how do you feel about how your portrayed and who do you think Jesus is that you might act in this way?
Imagine yourself as Mary in this story, what feelings come to mind when you imagine this story happening, can you imagine the smell of the perfume, can you imagine the touch of his skin and who do you think Jesus is that you would act in this way?
This week’s addition to the lenten Jesus playlist is by the artist Ben Harper. The song “Picture of Jesus” has been released in a number of forms, this particular version is sung alongside The Blind Boys of Alabama.
We long to be a picture of Jesus In his arms so many prayers rest I long to be a picture of Jesus With him we shall be forever blessed
Ponder: Spend today in prayer Pray that you may find a way to be a picture of Jesus this week
This week’s response to the question “who do you say I am?” is from Holly Wright.
The way I look at and relate to Jesus has changed a lot in the 17 years since I became a Christian. The person of Jesus has been at times carer and comforter and most often challenger and champion.
I experience the love of Christ in many ways. There are many times that I remember when life has been hard, and I always try to solve things by myself first. It often isn’t until I am desperate and despairing that I turn to Jesus. I am often reminded during worship, during a song I hear on the radio or in an experience how Christ is present and showing me his love in so many ways. I am so blessed to have good Christian friends who, when I go to them for comfort or guidance, I am constantly being reminded of Jesus love for me, both by the words they say, the prayers they give and the way they are sometimes simply present.
Jesus as challenger and champion is the way I engage most energetically with him. The man I read about in the scriptures is compassionate, kind and courageous. He was passionate about justice, and challenged his followers to care for the alienated, sick and lonely. I have been blessed with a passion for activism and many gifts that mean that I can speak up and organize people to achieve change.
The convicting spirit of Jesus is constantly and firmly encouraging me to listen and follow him, even when it’s really not what I want to do. Examples of these are my involvement in climate activism, and the difficult decision to leave Wagga and accept the call to Gungahlin Uniting.
Together Darren and I attend protests and rallies, discern God’s will together for what he is calling our family to and pray and take what small actions we can to bring about God’s peace and justice in the world.