John 12:1-8 “Mary Anoints Jesus” (N.R.S.V.) There is something disconcerting about Jesus’ response to Judas, because Judas’ question is one that many of us might ask. One would think that we would hear exactly the opposite from Jesus—that all of our resources should go to the poor. This is especially disconcerting when we see such disparity around income inequality that we do today. These moments when Jesus’ answers do not meet our expectations force us to continue to examine what discipleship means.
The timing of this passage is important as it comes right before Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and the beginning of his passion. Mary anoints Jesus just as a king would have been anointed, foreshadowing his entrance and Jesus’ turning of this expectation on its head by washing the feet of his disciples, thereby re-framing our concept of kingship and leadership.
On the surface, Judas’ critique meets our expectations and Mary is indeed being wasteful, but John makes it clear that even if Judas is saying the “right” thing, his motives are impure and Mary’s actions are those of a true disciple. Where Judas uses the plight of the poor to enrich himself, Mary serves God through the abundance of creation and seeks a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Discipleship is about love and service to God, not saying the right thing in service to our own ends. The critique, like many of the difficult teachings of Jesus, is not about what we say, but why we say it and what is in our hearts. When we are discerning how best to utilize the resources of creation or how we can best use our time, talents, and treasure to further the mission of God, we must examine ourselves as much as we examine what happens around us. We are quickly approaching Holy Week, where our deepest flaws, sinful tendencies, and outright sins will be laid bare. As painful as this type of reflection can be, we take heart that the work of Lent and Holy Week culminates in the redemptive work of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection – good news indeed. (Daniel Burke)
Rector’s Message: A Warm Welcome to The Reverend Tellison Glover! On behalf of St. Michael’s Parish, I am so grateful for your stewardship in guiding our conversation this morning. I am also pleased to have this facilitated conversation. My hope is that we can continue to re-shape our mission as a congregation. Many communities and congregations have continued to evolve and transform to determine its ministry. We are not immune to these changes. However, I resolve that we can do something for our church, not only in the present but more so in the future.
After almost 60 years of faithful ministry, I think we have to look at our congregation’s life cycle to determine where we are as a people. This will give us a better idea of our mission priorities. Then, look at some possible next steps and available parish and/or diocesan resources.
St. Michael is a small congregation. But we have proven in many occasions that we are capable of responding to the needs of our church (people and building). I encourage you to reflect and focus more on our Mission and Ministry outside of our Sunday morning life.
The church is here all around us because God is bringing people from around the world to enrich cities, communities, suburban areas, rural areas and urban areas. It’s everywhere we look. How can we rejoice in that grow and recognize how connected we are as a group to the people around us?
“5 The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ 6 The Lord replied, ‘If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you. Luke 17