Texts about "striving" make me itch. They bring to mind our own cultural commitments to speak about lifting ourselves by our own bootstraps to reach high goals.
Lent | Fifth Sunday in Lent (Year C)
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8
When Jim Douglass graduated from college, his father sent him a life insurance policy. Jim thanked his father but returned the policy. He could not accept the gift, he said, because he wanted to understand the truth of an “economics of providence” that he had read about in Matthew 6. Rather than pay premiums on a life insurance policy, Jim said he would store up treasure in heaven by sending a monthly payment to provide basic care for a little girl in France. I’m convinced that Jim is right.
What does God’s love smell like? Like honeysuckle on a warm spring day? Like a salty ocean breeze? Can God’s love also smell like a person who hasn’t bathed for days? For the people in the story in John 12, God’s love smells like their brother Lazarus, who has just been raised after four days in a tomb. Now his friends and loved ones are sharing a dinner in celebration and thanking Jesus, who has come out of hiding to see his friend Lazarus enjoying his new life.
by Beth SandersMarch 6, 2007