This is an excerpt from a newsletter, from the in country Therapy Director in Cambodia who works with http://www.transitionsglobal.org
For more about Summer and her work, check out her site entitled "Jehovah Rapha"
"This Sunday at church we read the story of Mary Magdalene pouring expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, six days before Passover (which we now know was about a week before Jesus’ death). As is often done with this passage, our pastor used his sermon time to
compare Mary’s extravagance when she poured the perfume (worth a year’s wages!) on Jesus feet, with the extravagant love of God. I’ve heard people make this comparison before, but this year I definitely thought about it in a different way. I began to consider God’s extravagant love in the context of what I encounter every day here in Cambodia.
What does extravagant love mean to you, in the context of your own life? I actually have a hard time with that question. I don’t come from a very wealthy family (my father was a priest!) but I was never left wanting anything as a child. Sure, I didn’t always get what I wanted for Christmas, but I always went to a good school and had enough food to eat. What’s more, I grew up in a family with parents who showed me what love feels like and taught me about the great sacrifice that God made out of His love for me. I don’t have a hard time answering that question because nobody has ever told me about God’s extravagant love. I have a hard time answering that question because I’ve never known a time when that truth wasn’t real to me.
The reality in our world is that a great majority of God’s children know nothing about the extravagant love of God. There are millions of people literally living in slavery throughout the world, and millions more in a figurative bondage as a result of issues like extreme poverty. There is a 13 year old girl held like a prisoner in a brothel in Cambodia. There is an 8 year old boy working as a slave on a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico. There is a 23 year old woman living as a slave in the basement of a wealthy home in Manhattan. There is a 56 year old man who has spent his entire life making bricks in India. And none of them know that God loves them so much that He sent His son to die for them. They have no idea.
In the story about Mary Magdalene, we can watch Jesus’ reaction to her extravagant display of love. We can also watch the reaction of others. Judas accused her of being wasteful and irresponsible, but Jesus did not. He blessed her for her sacrifice and declared that it would be used as an example of faithfulness in any place the Gospel is preached throughout the world.
As members of the small percentage of the world that DO know about the extravagant love of God, I believe that we have a job to do. We know that we’re called to make disciples of all nations, and we know what it looks like to do that through church planting and discipleship. But what about that 13 year old in the brothel in Cambodia? Or the young woman living as a slave in the United States? They’re not going to come to your new church plant or meet for coffee so that you will have an opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Fortunately, our God is not only a loving God, He is also a just God. And He is calling us to be agents of that justice in the world. He wants to break our hearts for the broken hearted around us. He wants us to cry out to Him to “rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:4) He wants us to act in extravagant ways to show those who do not know Him, just how incredible His love is.
So this coming Easter, as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, my prayer is for those that don’t know Him, for those who have never celebrated that joy. Please join me in prayer, that God would reveal to us, His body, the depths to which He is calling us to respond to those in the darkest corners of our world."