The Anointing at Bethany
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.”
It’s been a while since I last saw a video of someone doing the ice bucket challenge. In fact, most of what I have seen recently are satirical videos and snarky comments on it. I also remember the criticisms that were levied at the viral act that so many people did, especially “wasting” clean water on this when there are so many in the world without clean water. A legitimate criticism to be sure. But my friend Drew had a very good reflection upon this – link here. Back to the challenge and to the scripture today – what happens in this passage is an ice bucket of sorts. Something that is extremely valuable and could have been used for a different purpose is poured over Jesus’ head and the criticisms ensue. Yet, Jesus’ response is striking – he blesses the act that this woman performed and ties her act in with what is to come. The extravagance of her act is amazing. As I took this picture of a mini ice bucket challenge, I got thinking about what acts of extravagant love that I have performed for Jesus. How much do I pour out, sacrifice, give of myself for bless Jesus?