I had an uneventful trip (the best kind!) to Atlanta, Georgia, this morning. This is the first leg of my journey to the Galapagos. The Living Science group I am traveling with had graduation for their seniors today and I was honored to be the commencement speaker. I challenged the graduates with the actions of Mary pouring costly oil on Jesus and wiping his feet with her hair, found in John 12:1–8 (with parallel passages in Matthew and Mark).
Mary showed her total devotion to Christ and glorified Christ by giving her best to Christ—very costly oil (worth a year’s wages) and wiping his feet with her hair, her crowning glory, which Jewish women did not let down in public. Mary went against the expected, the norm, and the popular. The disciples were very vocal with their displeasure with her. They wanted to sell the oil and feed the poor. Their focus was on the temporal. Jesus turned their attention, as He had done many times before, to the eternal—Himself and His glory. He praised Mary for her actions and stated that wherever the gospel was preached, what she had done would be told in memory of her.
I challenged the graduates to remember Mary’s devotion and sacrifice to bring glory to Christ and to do the same. I told them that what they believe about God and His Word meant that many times what they thought, said and did would go against the norm, the majority, and the popular. The secular world and even some of the Christian world would try to convince them that their time, effort, talent, and intellect would be wasted if they stood on God’s Word as truth. I exhorted them to focus on the eternal, the heavenly reward (Matthew 5:11–12) and the commendation by Jesus one day in heaven when He says to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . . Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:21). From the comments I received afterwards, I could see that the Lord was able to use these words to encourage the graduates and their families.
The senior gift to Living Science was seven beautiful banners representing the seven ages of dinosaurs as detailed in the book Dinosaurs for Kids. I was so surprised and pleased and hope to have some better pictures in the near future.
Afterward, there was much to celebrate with a big party at Living Science headquarters with ultimate frisbee and volleyball (which I watched!) Tomorrow (Sunday) we head off to Quito, Ecuador! Keep checking daily for more updates.