John 12: 1-11
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for [c]three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7 Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” 9 The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.
This passage in John gives a snapshot of one of Jesus’ last actions leading up to his betrayal. Jesus knows what is coming… Jesus takes time for this meal with friends Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Even in the moments of danger and stress, community was important to Jesus; he wanted to be with people he loved in a special way. Are we that different? Food and fellowship with people we love ministers to everyone; in the face of imminent death, Jesus took the time to celebrate life with friends.
In the face of the cross whose shadow touches us all week, we too are planning to be with those we love in our faith community. We will share in the fellowship of a covered dish meal and then we will break the Bread of Life in the community of the faithful; we will be together with people we love, holding on to life when the death of our Savior confronts us all. Will your seat at the table of community be filled?
Dear Jesus, help us to remember that the life of faith is made strong by lives lived in community gatherings, where everyone has a seat and everyone is loved. Amen.