Good morning everyone!
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them*with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’
I had a day off yesterday. And I really needed to take that day off yesterday and I know myself all too well. If I was going to stay at my house, I would have found excuses to work or to just spend time cleaning or working in some other way. In ministry and in life, there is always stuff to do. And I knew that I would be teaching for 5 hours today and then worship and more teaching for 5 hours tomorrow so I knew I needed to take yesterday off.
So I looked up the weather in Lincoln City and took the chihuahua and took myself to the coast for the day. I knew that this was the only way that I could actually get away for a bit and rejuvenate. The weather was fantastic (55 and sunny as you can see from the pic above) and there is just something about the ocean that makes the world all magnificent. Plus it got me completely out of my element as I walked along with a little dog and interacted just with whomever I met along the way.
I really got to clear my head and invest myself in just walking along the beach. When I came home I wasn’t ready to just launch totally back into life so I started to work on a few new recipes that I have been wanting to try. I prepped a winter squash lasagna to eat when Betty got home from work and I made carrot date bars. Pretty delish. And I pondered while I cooked and baked and had a little dance party in my kitchen. Why is this so relaxing?
Because I had the only outcome of the food coming out alright! There was only the possibility of offering something delicious and a chance to test out a few recipes. How awesome is that?
Now, in some ways this is what Mary is doing when she offers the perfume. She has one goal, to honor Jesus and it is all she can do in that moment. While spending a day walking the beach in meditation of sorts and cooking because it relaxes seems extravagant, it is all to be well and to honor the journey. On a whole other level, to pour anointing perfume all over Jesus seems extravagant, it is for the whole of the person, it is all to be well and honor the journey. While she pours, she is focused and it clears her mind and connects her to Jesus even more. And while others may not understand, it is a necessary action for her during Lent.
Today, find an activity that is focuses and see how that clears the mind. Forget about your running to do list but do something that honors your journey, focuses on where you are, and is in reverence of the world. This activity whether walking, cooking, meditating, gardening, etc will be your prayer.