Monday, April 2nd. Mark 14:3-9

While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”  Mark 14:3-9

 

As we come now into Holy Week, remembering those events in the last week of Jesus’ life, and their implications for our lives, we can ask ourselves a Monday morning question: Will we “observe” Holy Week or will we “enter” Holy Week? Will we be passive observers or active participants?

 

Clearly we realize we are 2000 years removed from the actual historical events.  We cannot and will not ever know exactly what happened.  To the hymn, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” our answer will always be, “No.”  But we do have the opportunity to listen so closely to the story that it once again gets under our skin.  Where it can then find our hearts.

 

NOTICE:  Jesus spends the night in the home of “Simon the leper.”  I have no idea how Simon acquired that name nor do I have interest in learning more.  It is enough for me to see that name attached to the man who hosted Jesus this week.  Anything to do with leprosy means unclean, unwelcome, avoid at all costs.  But Jesus found his way to Simon’s home, Simon’s table, Simon’s life.

 

If we ever feel ourselves so unclean as to be passed over by God, remember the lesson of Simon the leper.

 

NOTICE:  Some of the dinner guests are shocked when a woman “wastes” an expensive jar of ointment on Jesus.  As you smell the rich scent of that ointment filling Simon’s home, as you feel the touch of her hands on Jesus’ skin, listen and you will hear their critical voices.

 

Coulda.  Woulda.  Shoulda.  Yada. Yada. Yada.  There will always be critical voices.  Yet how rare are the tears that are shed for Jesus, or for those who have been so touched by his love that they would spend all that they have for a chance to but touch and anoint his feet?

 

NOTICE:  Mark says that her devotion will be remembered as long as the gospel is preached.  We just proved it.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, soften our hearts as we walk behind you into this Holy Week.  Open our ears and our eyes to your story, that we might see our own lives more clearly.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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