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At the Home For Needy Children in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I live and serve, we have church services every Wednesday and Sunday.  We frequently sing a song in Spanish that says, “No hay lugar mas alto, mas grande, que estar en los pies de Cristo.”  Translated to say, “There is no place higher or greater than at the feet of Jesus.”

 Every time we sing that song I think of Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.  She always seems to be at the feet of Jesus.  The first time we meet her she is at the Masters feet listening to him teach.  The second time we encounter her she is prostrate at his feet telling him that if he had been there, her brother Lazarus would not have died. Shortly after that she is on bended knee before the Lord,  pouring expensive perfume on his feet.

I think that these three instances of Mary at the feet of Jesus can teach us something important about our relationship with Jesus.

First, we need to spend time at Jesus feet listening and learning from him.  I love the whole Bible, but when I read the words of Jesus, it’s something special.  It’s no mere human being talking, but it’s the Christ, the Son of the living God, who is talking.  Jesus, fully God and fully man, who came down from the realms of Glory to be among us and teach all humanity the Truth.  When Jesus speaks, I listen! 

To sit at Jesus feet and listen, spiritually and symbolically means that I humble myself.  I realize that I don’t have all the answers and HE does.  I do not stand before him, and look him in the eye as an equal, but I place myself at his feet, acknowledging that I, like Mary, am simply searching for the truth about God, about the world, about my life and living in right relationship with God and others.

Second, we spend time at the feet of Jesus when we are despairing, depressed, confused, frustrated; at wits end and at the end of our rope. That’s the condition Mary was in the second time we find her at the feet of Jesus. Her brother, Lazarus, was dead.

She had sent word to Jesus four days before, telling Jesus to come quickly because Lazarus was deathly sick. Jesus waited two days before leaving for Bethany. By this time Mary’s brother was dead. Mary falls at Jesus feet (when he finally arrives) and certainly, with confusion and heartache in her voice she exclaims (accuses?), “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)

We, like Mary, can safely fall at Jesus feet when we are disappointed in him, when we are confused about his will, his plan, his purpose for our lives. When we feel he has let us down. When we thought we had the God Thing all figured out, and then life throws us for a loop. Those are times that Jesus welcomes us to bow humbly at his feet so that he can lift us up and make everything better. Like he did for Mary by raising Lazarus from the dead. He may not raise our loved ones from the dead, but he will resurrect our hopes and faith and love.

Third, we go to Jesus feet when we we are full of joy and to happily, extravagantly, worship him. The next time we see Mary at the feet of Jesus, she is adoring Jesus and giving him her best. In the chapter after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, we encounter a joyous Mary, with awe in her eyes at the Lord, and a jar of expensive perfume in her hands. John 12:3 says that “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume, and poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped it with her hair.”

It’s natural and fitting that we too should worship at Jesus feet, pouring out to him our best gifts, our time and talents and treasures. We do this because all that we have he has given to us. Every pleasure, good feeling and wonderful event we experience in life is from our good, good God; our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. Because of him we have the best; forgiveness, salvation, redemption, and freedom. Why wouldn’t we pour out the best of our lives in glorious worship at the feet of Jesus?

There is place in most of our hearts that wants to experience the best, go to the highest place and attain the greatest of what life has to offer. Let us learn from Mary, that the best place we can be in life, the highest place we can ascend to, the greatest joy we can acquire, is found at the feet of Jesus.

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