Lent Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 119:9-16, Psalm 126, Philippians 3:4b-14, John 12:1-8
Mary – John 12:1-8 monologue from Good Friday Service 2018
We organised a dinner in honour of Jesus. My sister Martha served the meal, of course. My brother Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus and other guests. You remember what happened to Lazarus don’t you? It is still incredible to know he is here now alive after having died. I am Mary. I wanted to bring my own gift. I took the only thing I could offer him, this jar of costly rare perfume. It was the only thing of value that I owned.
This perfume was my life savings, worth at least a year of my wages. I had been saving it as my insurance policy, for the time when I would grow old and no man would want me. But this would be my gift for Jesus. Jesus was reclining at the table with the other guests. I knew what I wanted to do, pour on Jesus this incredible perfume. But as I came in with everyone watching and with Jesus there at the table looking at me I went to pieces. It was so overwhelming. I fell at his feet and sobbed. My heart was so full. And the tears…I just couldn’t speak.
His feet ran with my tears and the dust from the street. What could I do? I hadn’t even thought to bring a towel. Just then my hair fell into my eyes, and I knew what to do. I wiped his feet with my hair. I kissed them. Still the tears…I broke the jar of perfume and poured it on his feet and then on his head. My future and security was in that jar until that moment. Now it is with him! He raised my brother to life, he told me I was forgiven and free from all that had held me. I was free at last. Free to live without fear or shame. Everything I have is his.
Mary poured her whole life savings out. Gone. She couldn’t have known the significance of her timing. She just gave, generously. This is a gesture of love so extravagant, so over the top. The audacity of it, that something so valuable, so irreplaceable, is poured on Jesus’ feet. There’s no going back; once it’s done it’s done. Would I dare such love, such worship? Could I take what is precious to me, and dash it at Jesus’ feet?