A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: For the MPPC Women’s Retreat, as they travel to Montreat for rest and study.
Scripture: John 12:1-10
Key Verse: 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Reflection: There are various versions of this anointing but this one happens just before Jesus is arrested and crucified. He is in the home of some of his best friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. He had raised Lazarus from the dead which created a tremendous stir and increased his popularity and threat to the authorities. Mary anoints his feet with costly perfume and wipes them with her hair.
I’ve never really thought about it, but I would imagine such a powerful fragrance would linger for a long time. It would be difficult for Mary to wash the perfume out of her hair. The fragrance had to linger with Jesus for days. The house would smell like perfume for maybe weeks!
If that’s the case, the fragrance of this deed may have well lingered well into Jesus’ final week. For all we know, he could have still smelled the fragrance on the day of his crucifixion. I find that intriguing.
Our faithful deeds of extravagant love have a ripple-effect that may have no end. The fragrance of your love can remain with a person throughout their entire life. Such love is difficult to wash out of your hair! Such love stays with us even through the darkest hour. For all we know, Jesus could have smelled the fragrance of this perfume even as he hung on the cross!
Prayer: We pour out our love and praise to you, O God, for your unconditional love and grace. We admire Mary and her devotion and we long to be like her. Forgive us for the many ways that we have held our perfume, and give us grace to be liberal in letting it go in glory to God and in love for others. Through Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: Steve Eason
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].