Friday, April 11, 2008

Painful Giving he was reclining
at table, a woman
came with an
alabaster flask of
ointment of pure nard,
very costly, and she broke
the flask and
it over his head.

Mark 14:3b

Even with the most loved family member there is usually a budget when it comes to gift giving. Hours are spent to find just the right gift within our financial guidelines. Perhaps, while searching, frustration comes to play when wishing that the roof was the limit instead of one’s wallet! Nevertheless, there is a restraint to our generosity. After all, the mortgage is due next month.

The woman who anoints Jesus at Bethany shows no such restraint. She blows the roof off with her gift! Whether the ointment was specifically purchased or was in her closet, she gives a gift that puts a strain on her financial resources. In her mind, Jesus deserved the very best, even if the cost was future stability.

For most of us we have a firm grasp on a variety of "valuables." Perhaps a monetary value cannot be determined, but, whatever "it" may be it’s certain that losing or giving it away could be painful.

Jesus, didn’t ask for the woman’s gift. She gave it willingly and generously. And while this passage illustrates the preparation for Jesus’ burial this woman also gives us another example. Her action should prompt us to ask, “How generous am I willing to be in response to my loving Jesus?”

From jobs, to homes, to wanting to be married, to children, to spouses, to retirement accounts--whatever it maybe that you hold as valuable are you willing to pour it generously over the head of Jesus? In Mark this woman is nameless but her generosity has endured for centuries.

Jesus, I love you with
all my heart, soul and mind.
And while I want to give generously
to You I struggle.
Help me to remember the woman
from Bethany each time
my fingers clutch tightly
that which I hold dear.

1 comment:

Full of hope said...

After just studying about the widow who "put in everything-all she had to live on" (Mark 12:44) I was very interested in today's blog, noticing that the woman in Mark 14 gave "even if the cost was future stability". These women's actions showed that they trusted God completely. I am prayerfull consdering what I am holding back from the Lord because of lack of trust.