“Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfumed oil.” (John 12:3)
On this Monday of Holy Week, Jesus travels to Bethany to have dinner with Lazarus and his two sisters. Once again “Martha served.” But this time there’s no complaining to Jesus about her sister Mary not helping in the kitchen. Again we find Mary at the feet of Jesus, but this time engaged in an act of costly worship anointing His feet with fragrant perfume.
I’d like to imagine Martha sitting next to her with a towel (so nothing stained the carpet.)
Sometimes I resonate with Martha getting things done, cooking in the kitchen, a make-it-happen person. Other times I aspire to be like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His words, basking in His presence and worshiping Him.
Navigating our lives of faith it’s really both and, not either or. Mary made a gesture of costly worship, but consider Martha’s intrinsic role in the household. If Mary blew a whole year’s worth of wages, wouldn’t Martha have a say in it? In a sense this sacrificial act of extravagant love came from both of them, but in different ways.
Just like at times our love can take different forms: changing diapers, cooking, care-giving, giving of ourselves (our presence and presents), reaching out to irascible friends and colleagues, laying down our lives for others, spending time in prayer and adoration. All we do can be acts of love, costly perfume, if we offer them up to Jesus and do them with the fragrance of His extravagant love in us (and for us!)
grace, peace & extravagant love
Virginia : )
“We have three things to do…Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.” I Corinthians 13:13 (The Message)