The Fragrance of the Perfume

Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled withoctober-04-assorted-001 the fragrance of the oil          John 12:3

While Hollywood has generally given us the impression that Mary was a young beautiful woman, that may not have been the reality. In that time even poor young beautiful women would have been married and Mary was not poor. While we do not know Mary’s age it seems possible that she and Martha were both widows, living with their brother Lazarus. That would give us an entirely different view than the film version. In this scene we meet a Mary who kept all her savings in that perfume jar. It acted as something of a retirement account. As she grew older with no marital prospects, no way to work or even the right to own property that perfume was all she had besides the kindness of her brother. She was presenting  that gift in a single defining moment as her worship and expression of love to the Lord Jesus.

As the fragrance filled the room people began one by one to realize how exorbitant and yes even a little crazy what Mary was doing really was! Her family and friends were shocked but silent. Then one by one the disciples, beginning with Judas,  began to protest. “Why wasn’t this sold …and given to the poor?”

But Jesus knew Mary’s heart and while she remained silently at His feet He defended her. Today we have little to describe how Peter or John, Andrew or Phillip worshiped, but Mary’s act remains as the Bible’s best example of how we should be after 2,000 years. In a way that costly perfume continues to fill each of our rooms with its fragrance!

Is it Time to Pray?

In the Old Testament we learn that Daniel prayed three times a day

And though we can’t be sure of the exact hours they do correspond to praise a chorus we used to sing, “Jesus-Jesus- Jesus in the morning, Jesus at the noon time. Jesus-Jesus-Jesus when the sun goes down!” That little song neatly sums up the simplicity of prayer.Some of us say, “Well I’m really not a morning person!” Or “I’m no night owl!” as excuses why we don’t begin or end our days with prayer. But in the his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul tells us to” pray without ceasing” and king David tells us in Psalm 34 that he will bless the Lord at all times. In fact everywhere we look in scripture prayer is far more than just a night cap or a “Good morning Lord”. When the Lord Jesus was on earth set us an example of all different times for prayer.

Early Morning Prayer:  And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35

Mid-Day Prayer Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”  Luke 11:1

Evening Prayer And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went upon the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone   Matthew 14:23

Jesus prayed when he had to make decisions and he prayed to bless his food. Jesus prayed when he was sorrowful and He prayed when he was joyful. Jesus prayed for his disciples and He prayed for Himself. Jesus prayed at all these different times. While on earth Jesus prayed and taught us how to pray. How wonderful to remember that the prayer ministry of Christ did not end on the day He went to the Father but the Bible tells us that He is always there still praying for us!

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Waiting for the Dance

The Russian Sage and the Roses are prepped and ready for the harvest dance. The trees have been searching the Fall catalogs for the brightest colors and the sun is sleeping in a few minutes later each day. Yet even if everything seems to be changing God’s faithfulness remains the same.

For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever. In the heavens you will establish your faithfulness Psalm 89:2