Homily by The Rev. Marcia McRae
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bainbridge, GA
13 March. 2016, Lent 5 Year C: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8
The home in Bethany where Jesus gathers with his friends Lazarus, Martha & Mary overflows with the beautiful scent of costly perfume.
What overflows among us?
Some of us sign emails with our paraphrase of Philippians 1:9-10: That our love may overflow more & more with knowledge & full insight to help us determine what is best. This helps remind us of living into our Vision of St. John's as “A happening community where we live God’s love”.
Where love overflows, we see a challenge instead of a problem. Where love overflows, instead of a stranger, we see a beloved brother or sister in Christ that we can get to know. These shifts in perspective reflect the gesture of love Mary makes in our Gospel. We see God's love overflow through her. Where love overflows, we see harsh realities in the light of God's love.
A positive shift in perspective can strengthen us for hard tasks like the water in the wilderness in our 1st lesson. A positive shift in perspective can strengthen us so that we forget what lies behind & strain forward to what lies ahead, as Paul says in our lesson from Philippians.
A positive shift in perspective can strengthen the human spirit to create beauty & share hope in ways that the Rev. Whitney Rice poignantly describes in her sermon as she speaks of the impact of Mary's impractical gesture overflowing with love & how it relates to us. She says1........
Her sermon is at:
1 Rice, The Rev. Whitney. “Gestures Made of Love, Lent 5(C) – 2016”. Accessed: 11 March 2016. http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/2016/02/23/gestures-made-of-love-lent-5c-2016/
More of her work is at www.roofcrashersandhemgrabbers.com.