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Thursday, March 10, 2016

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Often times when we hear messages of "good will" we realize they are from individuals whose motives are self-serving and deceitful. We identify these actions as having "hidden agendas," as coming from "wolves in sheep's clothing."

In today's reading, Jesus defends Mary's act of kindness and love but then calls into question Judas' deceit and self-serving motivations. As we read the passage, a little self-reflection will reveal to us that some of the same sinfulness that corrupts Judas is with us every day. To be sure we are capable of doing acts of kindness; however, our intentions may reveal that the "truth is still not in us" and in the end our good actions are compromised. That's when the Holy Spirit drives us to the cross, where the ultimate act of love and kindness is revealed through Christ's death and resurrection.

God of mercy, you have the power to forgive and with that power we ask for forgiveness of all our sins through your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Peter Craig
Gift Processor, Luther Seminary

John 12:1-8 (NRSV)

1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.
3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said,
5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"
6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
7 Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.
8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.