There is no getting around it. Mary of Bethany dumped her entire retirement savings over Jesus’ feet. She also made herself entirely vulnerable while doing it. If that doesn’t take your breath away, check your pulse to see if you are still breathing.
This is where I know I have been a Christian for too long. These kinds of very familiar stories can cause the eyes of my soul to glaze over. I have heard them so many times and enough mediocre sermons on them to boot.
So how can I rescue this story from the “yawn factor”? Maybe by asking myself where my real security in life is. Would I be willing to give my entire 401K to a person in need? Am willing am I to show my love for Jesus in a society that doesn’t even acknowledge Easter as a secular holiday worthy of a day off any more?
I can feel my heart racing as I type these naked questions. I know right now what my answer is to both of them. But there is hope.
I don’t have to make this kind of leap of faith all at once. Mary of Bethany had spent a lot of time in the presence of Jesus. She was so in love with him that nothing else mattered to her. She knew that in giving her all with her all that Jesus would somehow protect her.
For me to get to the same point, I need to spend a lot more experiential time with Jesus. I do not need another sermon or Bible study on this text. I need to live with Jesus, every minute of every day, a fact that calls me to some intentional training in and of itself. I need to pray to be so flooded with the love of God and love for God that nothing else matters in my life.
Do I even really want that?
It is only when we are honest with ourselves as to what we really want out of our faith in Christ that there is hope for going deeper (or not). And if we do not want that kind of radical discipleship, that is OK but please be honest with yourself and with others. Stop pretending because in this case, we can’t have our cake and eat it, too. We really can’t.