Lord Jesus, I thank you, that even though you were the Son of Man, and destined to sit on your throne in heavenly glory, you were willing to be handed over to be crucified for our sake. Even though the chief priests who plotted against you did not intend to arrest you and kill you until after the Feast of the Passover, you were in control even of the timing of your death. You truly laid down you life for us. We are grateful for your example of unflinching courage, your willingness to face the political powers of your day, those who had the power to arrest you and kill you, without wavering or shrinking back. We pray for leaders in our day who will imitate your fearless example, and that we all will take heart from your example and grow in courage. You teach us here that the poor will always be with us. Instill in us a proper balance of concern for the poor with a recognition that you may have other uses for our resources as well. We see here that worship of Mammon drew the heart of Judas away from you and into betrayal of you and your cause. Remind us all that we cannot serve two masters. Please prompt us to choose you and reject the idolatry of materialism. We see in the story of the woman with the alabaster jar of expensive perfume the way you honor simple, spontaneous, and extravagant displays of worship. Truly your prophetic word has been fulfilled, for wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she did is still being told even today, in memory of her. I pray for myself and for ______________________ , that we will do as this woman did, and worship and serve you as our hearts prompt, regardless of the criticism we may receive from others. This I pray in your name, amen.