Friday, March 15, 2013

Acts of Loving Kindness

Acts of Loving Kindness
Lent 5
Sunday, March 17, 2013
John 12:1-8

Good morning, everyone!  One time, Jesus was visiting his friends Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary in their home in a town called Bethany.  While he was there, Lazarus, Martha and Mary decided to host a dinner party in Jesus’ honor.  They all enjoyed a tasty meal and were relaxing in the living room after dinner when one of the guests, a woman named Mary, took out a jar of expensive oil.  She dipped her long hair in the oil, and then rubbed it on Jesus’ feet.  She anointed his feet in this way to show Jesus how much she loved him.  Judas, one of the disciples, complained that the oil should have been sold and the money given to the poor, but Jesus appreciated Mary’s act of kindness and love.

We can’t invite Jesus to dinner in the same way Lazarus did, can we?  He is with us always in spirit, but not in a way that we can anoint his feet.  We can show Jesus that we love him by doing acts of kindness and love for others. 

Alanna Jai Wall was an 8-year-old girl living in Dayton, Ohio, who wanted to make a difference in the lives of people who are very sick.  At first she thought she would make a head scarf for every child diagnosed with cancer, but then her Nana got her excited about nail polish and glitter.  When she was 10, she started polishing nails of cancer patients and special needs children.  Now she is 12 years old, and she is the Chief Executive Officer of a nation-wide volunteer organization called Polished Girlz.  According to the Polished Girlz website,

The Polished Girlz bring sparkle to the lives of girls with special needs or frequent hospitalizations by bringing the trendiest nail art parties to them, while teaching them the importance of hand washing to reduce infection rates and repeated hospital admissions. As an organization, the Polished Girlz seek to empower not only their clients, but their volunteers, by offering them opportunities to improve the quality of life, build invaluable leadership skills, and providing them with opportunities for community service.

Polished Girlz now has 150 volunteers, and they have polished the nails to make thousands of girls smile in several states.  The organization continues to grow and bring joy to more and more people.

We can’t anoint Jesus’ feet, but we can show we love him by serving others--by doing acts of loving kindness.  Alanna’s motto is “Born to Rock, Born to Shine and Born to Serve!” 

Let’s Pray:

Dear God, We thank you for sparkling examples of service, such as Mary in the Bible, and Alanna in Dayton, Ohio.  Help us to find ways to show our love of Jesus so that we, too, may rock, shine and serve.  Amen.


  1. Dear Friends, I used this story yesterday, with some revisions. Since the preacher of the morning was not following the Lectionary, I left off the opening paragraph re: the woman anointing Jesus' feet and just told the story about Alanna and the Polished Girlz, and used it as an instrument to show that we can all find ways to serve God by serving others.
    I also painted my nails with glitter green polish and used that as the opener, showing the children my fancy St. Patrick's Day fingernails. At the end of the story, I told the kids that I brought my bottle of polish with me, and I would polish their nails during the fellowship hour if they would like and with their parents' permission. Several little girls and a couple of adults went away for the day with sparkly green fingernails and hopefully a lesson to remember.

  2. Thank you for this example of service. I am speaking to a Young Life, Capernaum group tomorrow night on the topic of "Service". I will use this sermon example when I speak to them.


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