It is Holy Week and I am shaking my head in disbelief of what has transpired in the six weeks of Lent this year.
Emotions run high these days with plenty of time to sort through them since our calendar has been wiped clean and our outings consist of walks around the area or a well-planned trip to get supplies.
The walks happen daily, sometimes multiple times…the shopping happens as little as possible.
I remember Ash Wednesday. I went to St. Paul’s at noon and received the ashes. I shook hands with the pastor and thanked him for such a convicting and good message to begin this season.
And I sat last week and cried my eyes out as I listened to him tell his congregation via a video…because you know…social distancing…that they aren’t sure how many days he has left to live.
It’s not the Covid that is killing him, but an aggressive cancer.
So he and his family are sheltering in place wringing all the days of together they can out of what is left on his hand-breadth of time.
I have texts on my phone from friends who are grieving all kinds of changes that they are facing in the confines of our current pandemic. Some are just more fall out from older seasons of grief. Some have developed quickly.
We send hearts and prayer hands emojis.
We ache to just sit with them in their trials.
We lift their names before we eat.
We have our own concerns here under this roof that Russ keeps over our heads like he always has.
So today I am scanning the Scriptures trying to bring you some words of hope and encouragement and to remember Jesus as He walked out His last days here on planet earth.
My eyes rest on a most unusual set of circumstances today and the story Jesus promised would be told wherever the gospel is proclaimed.
What a scene.
First off Jesus is being hosted by a man named “Simon the leper.”
How would you like that to be your handle?
So here we are dining at the home of a man who is associated with a disease marking you as unclean, and in comes a woman carrying a costly container of expensive perfume.
With little fanfare it would seem, she approaches Jesus as He is sitting at dinner and she cracks it open and pours it on His head.
I am a visual person, so I am picturing this potent smelling oil drizzling down what most likely would have been a thick head of longish dark hair. Probably unwashed hair as I rather doubt they showered on the regular in those times.
From the response of the disciples which is described as indignant, I would say she was totally out of line socially, ethically, culturally.
A waste of money they called out.
Her extravagance was an affront to their disciple souls and consciences.
She had made a scene and a fool of herself and had unwisely thrown away resources that could have really helped others in need.
And Jesus defends her.
He publicly accepts her extravagant gift of love that put aside all thoughts of what anyone would think of her and thought only of Him.
She poured out her pride and her wealth and her honor on Him and He received it and blessed it.
Do you and I love Him extravagantly? Or do we worry what others might think?
It would seem there is only One who matters in this story.
I would say we have within us a collection of costly treasures that we hold tightly for fear of losing their value if we let them go. I would say we do not take kindly to making a fool of ourselves out of love…
perhaps today we could gather together in our wide open hands the treasures of our hearts and souls and then lift them up to Him…perhaps we could kneel down and forget what we look like to others and gaze into His precious face….perhaps we could symbolically gather every relationship, reward, possession or accomplishment we can think of that we carry in our hearts and visualize them as the expensive perfume in our alabaster jar.
Maybe we could imagine what it would feel like to break the seal on all the people, places and things we love and then to pour them out over His head…willingly give up any thing that we have tightly held close to our hearts …and bless Him back for He is worthy.
And then to receive His acceptance of our gifts of offering to Him and simply rest in His love today <3