Friday, April 3, 2009

Intimate Expression of Extravagant Love

John 12:1-10

We’ve all witnessed various expressions of love - hugs, kisses, holding hands. Some are endearing - a parent steadying a toddler’s steps or a grandparent’s calming touch. Others are universal - a certain look that passes between a couple or the first marriage kiss.

But there are some expressions of love that make folk uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s a secret desire for a loving relationship. Maybe it’s because the observer doesn’t feel the behavior is appropriate. Feelings of envy, jealousy, inadequacy - any could be the basis for the discomfort.

Mary offered intimate expressions of her love to Jesus - she offered the contents of alabaster jar to anoint her Master and King, she uncovered her hair in public (unheard of for a Jewish woman), and she then used her hair to wipe His feet (a deeply personal act). Mary’s love couldn’t be hidden; it was evident in all she did.

Breaking down the word “Intimacy” could be “Into-Me-See” in that it speaks to a closeness, a honesty and a clarity that leaves no room for duplicity, guile or deceit.

Judas, who was incapable of such intimacy, reacted as many who neither have a healthy nor growing relationship with Christ. He was critical, disdainful and just downright hateful. Judas’ lack of love and intimacy helped propel him to his destiny with 30 pieces of silver and his betrayal of our Savior.

Prayer: Lord, open my heart to seek intimacy with You. Let me never be reserved nor reticent to express my love for You. During this season of Lent, please remove those barriers, both internal and external, to my drawing close to you. Amen.

Rev. Jill Day-Foley, Associate Minister
Payne Chapel AME Church
Nashville, Tennessee