Authored by Lou Geense
Read: Mark 14:3-9.
Vs. 3 – While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
When the woman broke the jar of expensive perfume the judgement on her actions began immediately. Surely the money spent on the jar of perfume for Jesus could have helped people in need. Would this not have been better spent on helping the poor? But Jesus was the one whom the woman was called to bless at that time. She followed God’s leading in her that day. Jesus acknowledged it was an appropriate action as well.
Have you or your family ever received a generous gift? Our family has on a number of occasions. The hard part for me was to accept them graciously. My own sense of pride often got in the way of acceptance. In the end however, those gifts came in times of financial need for us, and they were more appreciated than I could ever say. The people giving us those gifts felt led to give and didn’t do it out of guilt or duty. They did it because they loved our family and knew that God had blessed them to be a blessing to others.
We know that the cost of discipleship—following Jesus—involves relying on God and following his calling in our lives. The people who blessed our family were doing just that. The woman in today’s story gave extravagantly to Jesus with no thought about her own needs or agenda. She simply did what she was called to do.
Sometimes we are called to do things that may seem different or out of place, however if we truly understand that we are being called to do so, just do it. That may cost us a bit of pride, but the outcome will be a blessing to others and a building block in our faith.
The call to be generous and bless others is to trust Jesus and to live with a generous spirit. It is always rewarding.
Father, allow us to hear your call and to follow wherever you may lead, no matter the cost. Amen.