sexta-feira, 6 de março de 2015

MOMENTS OF ENJOYMENT


“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied.
“It was intended
that she should save this perfume
for the day of my burial.
You will always have the poor among you,
but you will not always have me.”

John 12:7-8 (read 12:1-8) - NIV

 

Mary and Martha were sisters. They both loved Jesus. The difference between the two was the way in which they expressed their love. Marta was always practical, active, working in the kitchen and serving tables. Maria was dreamy and simply reveling in the presence of her beloved friend Jesus. Service and delight are two ways to express love.

Judas was calculating and politically correct. For him, Mary should not waste the expensive perfume by applying it to the feet of Jesus. It would be better to sell it and give the money to the poor.

Jesus put it all in the larger perspective of service, enjoyment and giving. They all have their time and place. This was the time and place for Maria to just enjoy the presence of Jesus by expressing her love and gratitude. There would be other opportunities to serve the poor.

In her activism, Martha complained about Mary and in his correctness Judas criticized her. But in her devotion and affection Maria did not require anything in return. She simply put herself at the feet of Jesus and caressed them with her precious perfume and hair.

When we simply accept the doctrines of religion and accept their rules we run the risk of losing the essential which is the dynamics of spontaneous love without demands. There may be more of a spirit of solidarity and spontaneity in a barroom than in a church meeting. Regulations can harm relationships. Structures with roles to be fulfilled can take the spontaneity out of a relationship. When the church acts as a billing system it can undermine the fellowship of faith. Similarly, marriage can become a system of requirements and can snuff out love, thus turning a possible paradise into a hell on earth.

With a mentality of limiting ourselves to usefulness we can lose the dimension of enjoyment and affection in our lives. There are parents who give everything to their children except their physical presence and care. They forget that shelter, clothing and toys are not everything. Play, presence and participation directly in the lives of children feed their soul. The body can be well maintained while the soul is starving. There are pastors who dedicate so much time to church duties that they don’t have time for the "congregation" that is in their own homes. It’s no wonder that many children of pastors, as adults, do not care about the church. She robbed them of their father!

With the brevity of life, moments of enjoyment are important. To stop and revel in these moments is not wasted time. These can be our best moments.

Jesus accepted the love of Mary. She did well, because he needed these moments of renewal! With this gesture Jesus let Mary teach us that life is not a race to earn merits but a time to enjoy each other. Stopping to simply revel in the presence of someone is also an essential for a full life.

 

JOHN 12:1-8 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

JESUS ANOINTED AT BETHANY

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

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