Posts Tagged ‘perfume’

Monday of Holy Week Reflection

Old little bottle with nards perfume
photo taken by Juan Antonio Segal

John 12:1-11. (Click here for the full text.)

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.

Take a moment to image the dinner party going on this evening. With Passover less than a week away, Jesus and his disciples are in Bethany. Jesus’ good friends, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha are hosting a dinner for him. Lazarus sits at the table eating with the rest of the guys. Martha is serving the meal. And Mary? Well, she’s at Jesus’ feet again, but this time she is anointing them.


The culture norms of that time meant Mary didn’t have a voice at the table. She was a woman. However, she can make a point or two through her actions. First, she anoints Jesus’ feet instead of his head. He has already been anointed by God to serve the world. Here she blesses his life of service to God and others. Secondly, she does this not before the meal, but during the meal. She is savvy. Here at the table is when she can find a captive audience to whom she can share her witness to Christ. Thirdly, she removes the perfume from Jesus’ feet by drying them.  Reminiscent of the actions of the prophets old, by removing the perfume she alludes to Jesus’ death.

When the world doesn’t afford you a voice to tell the story of the love of God we have come to know through Jesus Christ, you can still give witness to God’s amazing love through how you act and what you do (or don’t do). Most of the time people will remember this more than words. So bear this in mind, let your movements and actions add a fragrance to the world that brings God the glory and honor.

Consider this….

  • What actions point others to God’s love expressed through Jesus?

Prayer.  May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and the movements of my life be pleasing to you Lord. Amen.

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