Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reckless Extravagance

Lord Christ, the annual stewardship program has begun at my church. I’m reminded of the Gospel story about your anointing at Bethany.

Mary poured expensive perfume on your feet. It was probably worth a workman’s annual wage. She concluded the intimate ritual by wiping your feet with her hair.

An expression of devotion. An act of worship. But the onlookers saw it as reckless extravagance.

Pledge card in hand, I react like Mary’s critics. My mental calculator whirs as I count the cost. Am I holding too tightly to financial resources that really belong to you, to material blessings received from your gracious hand?

Holy Spirit, with your help, I aspire to giving that truly reflects my relationship with Jesus. I aspire to reckless extravagance in service to the Lord I love. Amen.

Credit for the theme of reckless extravagance, from Mark 14:1-11, goes to Annabel Robinson, writing for Scripture Union USA’s Encounter with God, 2/13/11. She’s Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Regina in Canada.