April 14th Lenten Devotion

An Extravagant Gift

Allison Byerley

Matthew 26:6-13

A scion of the church passed away last year. Her family visited our prayer garden and was struck by its beauty. They wanted to give something in her memory to enhance it and offered to install a water feature. I investigated some local options prior to meeting with them and wondered if the expensive $250 fountain would be in their budget. When we sat down together, I asked about the budget and was told to keep it under $5,000! I thought the family was joking, but they weren’t.

Our church, like so many, is struggling with every day bills, and I confess that the thought crossed my mind of the peace of mind a $5,000 gift to our operating fund would bring. But I didn’t say anything because I remembered this story and what the anonymous woman did for Jesus.

The disciples were angry because they saw her gift as a waste. Jesus honored her for the offering she made, anointing him as his final days approached. Likewise, this family want to honor God and help others connect to Jesus through a garden devoted to prayer. The concerns of daily ministry will continue, but the extravagant gift of this family in memory of their mother and to the glory of God reminds me that there is more to ministry than budgetary worries.


God, how can I give you glory today in my life? What extravagant offering can I make?


 Rev. Dr. Allison Byerley is the Pastor of Mariposa UMC in Mariposa, CA.


©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

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