Christian singer and songwriter, Darlene Zschech, wrote the following message in the liner notes of one of her albums, “I long to be an extravagant worshiper…that God would discover the song in my heart to be elaborate, over-generous and wasteful in my pursuit of Him.”  Her words could easily be inspired by Mary’s actions in today’s gospel!

Jesus finds himself in Bethany in the company of good friends—Mary who has spent endless amounts of time sitting at his feet, Martha who has served with her whole heart, and their brother Lazarus who is alive again.

Surely they had heard the murmuring among the chief priests and Pharisees who were plotting to arrest Jesus. Did they know this would be the last time sharing a meal with Jesus in their home?  Mary holds nothing back and pours out everything she has for Jesus.  In a precursor to Jesus’ death and burial, Mary anoints him in the most extravagant, elaborate, over-generous, and wasteful sort of way. Jesus does need this kind of affection, and yet, his relationship with Mary evokes this incredibly generous response.

As we enter into this final week of Lent, where has the journey taken you? What would it look like to be over-generous in our prayer, our fasting, and our almsgiving? What more can I do for Christ— in offering forgiveness, extending generosity to the poor, and entering into prayer during this Holy Week?

Lord, I long to be an extravagant worshiper, to make a generous response in my relationship with you.

—Beth Knobbe is an author and ministry professional based in Chicago, IL. She blogs at .