Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)
Prayer for Presence
Lord Jesus, I believe you want to speak to me in deep and profound ways this moment. May I be attentive to your loving and merciful voice.
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. Matthew 26:7
Jesus allowed others to minister to Him. Do you? ‘A woman … having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil … poured it on His head … But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” … when Jesus was aware of it, He said … “She has done a good work”’ (vv. 7-10).
There’s an important lesson in this story. You must allow the care you pour on others, to be poured on you. Otherwise you’ll burn out. Jesus practiced this principle. So did the psalmist: ‘You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over’ (Psalm 23:5). In order for your cup of service to stay full, it must continually be refilled. And since people generally treat you according to how you treat yourself, you must learn to treat yourself right. It’s a good thing to take care of others, but sometimes we hide behind that in order to avoid having to take care of ourselves – or because we don’t know how. The question is: How can we fulfil Christ’s command to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Mark 12:31), if we haven’t learned how to love ourselves?
Many of us become resentful of the demands people dump on us each day without ever seeming to give anything back in return. When the world you live in makes endless withdrawals, you must learn to make deposits; otherwise you’ll end up with insufficient funds. And pretty soon those checks will start bouncing everywhere – morally, emotionally, and spiritually. Who’ll give back to you – if not you?
Lord, give me the grace to allow the oil I pour on others to be poured on me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Space for Reflection (take 2-3 minutes to be silent or write out your thoughts or prayers from the scripture passage or devotional)
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.