Honouring God’s presence

Lent 5c – Sunday 17th March 2013 – Passion Sunday
John 12: 1-8

Jesus said, “Let her alone. She’s anticipating and honouring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don’t always have me.”

Do you think Jesus was ever wrong? Ok, how about a little bit right and a little bit wrong at the same time? Yeah, me too. I don’t think Jesus got much wrong – in my humble opinion. But on this occasion perhaps he got things slightly askew.

First off, the little bit right. Passion Sunday precedes Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday precedes Easter Sunday. So we’re well on the way. We anticipating the climax to the ministry of Jesus. He’s preparing his disciples for his departure, the supreme revelation of God’s love for the world. Jesus is telling the disciples they will have to appreciate him now to understand him later. Ok, I get that. He got it right.

But the bit he got wrong was the “You don’t always have me” bit. In a purely physical presence he was right. He was off soon. The disciples better get ready. But in a long term strategy, missional outreach perspective he was way off the mark. You see, to quote Bryan Adams, everything I do, I do it for God. If I’m standing up for the poor, I’m serving God. If I’m reaching out to the lost, I’m serving God. If I’m supporting those who are vulnerable, I’m serving God. If I’m visiting the sick, I’m serving God. If I’m watching Comic Relief, I’m serving God. [PLEASE INSERT YOUR OWN EXAMPLES!]

And when I look into the eyes of those I’m serving, I see the eyes of Jesus. He’s still here. He’s very much alive. He’s walking and talking and breathing and everywhere I look. And so I’m honouring – not the day of his burial – but the very essence of his being. I’m honouring his presence. It’s what gets me up in the morning, it’s what gives me hope. Of course there are some days which are totally ME, ME, Me. I feel so like Judas. That’s just being human. But the example of those around me, and the poor – who are always here – soon pull me back into honouring God’s presence.

Jesus said, “Let her alone. She’s anticipating and honouring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don’t always have me.”

Ok. Perhaps Jesus wasn’t wrong. But you get the point I’m making……

Happy days

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About Neil Chappell

Husband, father, Congregational Minister and football fan all rolled into one convenient package.
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