John 12:1-8 has been our lectionary study passage this week. The lectionary is a set of readings designated for each week of the year according to the liturgical season and lists an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, a Gospel lesson and an additional New Testament passage. This particular lesson from John’s Gospel has been teaching us about serving and sacrifice.

Jesus modeled both of these in His words and actions while He was here on earth. He taught and showed us how important it was for us to care for others, putting their needs above our own. This is often hard for us, and people say it goes against our human nature. That was exactly Christ’s point! He calls us to avoid our “human” nature and remember that we are God’s children, made in His image.

In this scripture we read about Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume as an act of serving and sacrifice. During the Last Supper Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as an act of serving. Painter and pastor Kenneth Wyatt writes “If the symbol of our faith were not the cross, the towel and basin to represent Christian service would be most appropriate.” Christ sacrificed His life to pay the price for our salvation and calls us to take up our cross and follow Him.

Gracious God, help us to fully appreciate the serving and sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. Make us strong that we may follow Him to do as He taught us. Amen.

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