Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, and your faithfulness to the clouds. Psalm 36:5
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it. Isaiah 42:5
This past summer, I went on my first backpacking trip. Long days of hiking in the grueling August heat were exhausting, but the tough moments at the end of the day were also some of my favorite, mainly for the spectacular sunsets. Even if my feet were aching and my stomach growling for dinner, the heavenly beauty of watching the light change through the trees always refreshed my soul and called me to inner stillness.
While I experienced the Divine through the beauty of the natural world, we also seek God in our pursuit of man-made beauty, including music, art, or even nice perfume, as Mary Magdalene reminds us in today’s Gospel. When Judas Iscariot chides her for spending money on something so extravagant, Jesus defends her saying, “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
Jesus calls us away from the pursuit of our life’s mission, recognizing that it will always be there, and implores us to be with him, as he will soon be leaving. This knowledge heightens the significance of spending time with Jesus. Perhaps this is why the absolute beauty of dusk had never struck me until this past summer. Alone in the woods, even the most perfect sunset still carries a sense of foreboding. The light is fleeting, and even when I knew the sun would rise in the morning, spending the night in darkness was scary. Similarly, as we enter into Holy Week after our journey through Lent, take time to be refreshed in the beauty and of being with Jesus now, made all the richer by the impending darkness.
Samantha Scheff, Assistant Organist
Appointed readings for today: