Confession: Psalm 30:6–10
But as for me, I had said in my prosperity,
“I shall not be moved ever.”
O Yahweh, by your favor
you caused my strong mountain to stand.
You hid your face. I was bewildered.
To you, O Yahweh, I called,
and to the Lord I pleaded for grace saying,
“What gain is there in my death,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
“O Yahweh, hear and be gracious to me.
O Yahweh, be my helper.”
Reading: Mark 14:3–11
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining for a meal, a woman came holding an alabaster flask of very costly perfumed oil of genuine nard. After breaking the alabaster flask, she poured it out on his head. But some were expressing indignation to one another: “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? For this perfumed oil could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor!” And they began to scold her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you cause trouble for her? She has done a good deed to me. For the poor you always have with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
And Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. And when they heard this, they were delighted, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how he could betray him conveniently.
When a poor sinner cleaves to Jesus and finds the forgiving love of God, he cannot but love God back. When the prodigal returned home and felt his father’s arms around his neck, then did he feel the gushings of affection toward his father. When the summer sun shines full down upon the sea, it draws the vapors upward to the sky. So when the sunbeams of the son of righteousness fall upon the soul, they draw forth the risings of love to Him in return.
Some of you are longing to love God. Come into His love, then. Consent to be loved by Him, though worthless in yourself. It is better to be loved by Him than to love, and it is the only way to learn to love Him. When the light of the sun falls upon the moon, it finds the moon dark and unlovely, but the moon reflects the light and casts it back again. So let the love of God shine into your breast, and you will cast it back again. “We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
The only cure for a cold heart is to look at the heart of Jesus.
Perfect Love Casteth out Fear
The woman in this story responds to Christ’s love with an extravagant action that shocks the people around her. What would that kind of extravagant response look like in your life?
 Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.