We are in the season of lent. It is a season marked by confession, repentance, and fasting. However, it is also a season in which we recognize extravagant love. If you are a part of The Lakes Community Church and following along in the New Testament reading plan (it is on the church website, http://www.lakescommunitynaz.com, if you want to start today!), you will know that today we read from Mark 14. There is a brief exchange in the text that I want to mention,
“3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Normally, I am a pretty frugal shopper. If I need a new shirt or pair of pants my favorite stores are typically places where I can get a good deal. I like TJ Maxx. I am not a guy who shops at Nordstrom’s…unless maybe there is a big clearance sale. That being said, there are moments I want to show someone how much I love them and I may buy something at full-price. Ask my wife, that is true love.
To some of my other frugal friends that still sounds like a bad idea, but I recognize that sometimes love does something out of the ordinary. Extravagant love is something that is beyond the normal. It is something that doesn’t always make sense from the outside, but it is something we do without thought or care to what others think.
I don’t want us to miss in this season of confession, repentance, fasting, that we do all this out of recognition of the sacrificial love of Jesus. Christ on the cross is as extravagant as love can be. This kind of love is not found in a clearance section or a discount store. This kind of love is so extravagant it cannot be purchased at Tiffany’s. May you and I receive the extravagant love of Jesus and may we give the extravagant love of Jesus.