Evening Reading for November 22

John 20:1-10
Suggested further reading: Luke 7:36-50

Those who love Christ most are those who have received most benefit from him. The first whom St John names among those who came to Christ's sepulchre is Mary Magdalene. The history of this faithful woman, no doubt, is hidden in much obscurity. We are distinctly told that she was one out of whom the Lord had cast `seven devils' (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2) — one who had been subjected in a peculiar way to Satan's possession — and one whose gratitude to our Lord for deliverance was a gratitude that knew no bounds. In short, of all our Lord's followers on earth, none seem to have loved him so much as Mary Magdalene. None felt that they owed so much to Christ. None felt so strongly that there was nothing too great to do for Christ. Hence, as Bishop Andrews beautifully puts it, `She was last at his cross and first at his grave. She stayed longest there and was soonest here. She could not rest till she was up to seek him. She sought him while it was yet dark, even before she had light to seek him by.' In a word, having received much, she loved much, and loving much, she did much, in order to prove the reality of her love.

How is it that many, whose faith and grace it would be uncharitable to deny, work so little, give so little, say so little, take so little pains to promote Christ's cause and bring glory to Christ in the world? These questions admit of only one answer. It is a low sense of debt and obligation to Christ which is the account of the whole matter. Where sin is not felt at all, nothing is done, and where sin is little felt, little is done. The man who is deeply conscious of his own guilt and corruption and deeply convinced that without the blood and intercession of Christ he would sink deservedly into the lowest hell, this is the man who will spend and be spent for Jesus and think that he can never do enough to show forth his praise.

For meditation: The depth of our self-giving reflects the depth of our love.

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