Caring for Christ in Our Neighbors: Immanuel

Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair.

As John recounts Mary’s anointing of the feet of Jesus (John 12:1-8), he makes it clear that Judas’ apparent concern for the anonymous poor has nothing to do with compassion but with corruption. Jesus on the other hand blesses Mary’s extravagant gift of costly perfume and her extravagant act of anointing his feet and wiping them with her hair. She recognizes the cost Jesus will pay for his ministry, and is willing to pay a high cost herself to be intimately connected to him and his ministry.

Immanuel is a ministry begun over 130 years ago with the same notion—that disciples should give extravagantly for the sake of tending to the Christ they encounter in their neighbors; not just the nameless poor but those real people in the immediate vicinity (in Immanuel’s case, orphans, elders and the sick). Through the generations, Immanuel’s mission came to focus especially on high quality living communities and healthcare for all seniors, regardless of their income or station in life. Care is poured out richly, and through its Immanuel Vision Foundation, grants are given extravagantly to enrich the lives of seniors and the communities in which they live, and to support the ministry of the church. Like Mary, Immanuel tends to Christ in the form of each person they serve.

Immanuel is one of the many ministries of the Nebraska Synod bringing the Word to life in service. Thank you to you and your congregation for your support!

Throughout the season of Lent, the Nebraska Synod will be lifting up various Nebraska Synod ministries and serving arms that have a connection to the upcoming Sunday text. The text referenced here is from John 12:1-8, the Gospel reading for Sunday, April 5 – The Fifth Sunday in Lent.

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