Today's Gospel is John 12: 1-11.
1Â Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.Â 2Â There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.Â 3Â Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped themÂ with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.Â 4Â But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said,Â 5Â "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"Â 6 (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.)Â 7Â Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought itÂ so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.Â 8Â You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."
Oh, for cryin' out loud. Mary is just too much. Perhaps the rest of us sitting at this lovely meal could have handled the perfume. Maybe. But as if a year's salary ofÂ ck one wasn't enough,Â Mary does the hair thing. It's just too extravagent, lavish, odd, irreverant, over-the-top. "Mary, get it together!Â Take some notes fromÂ Martha--she is in her proper place--serving up the feast."Â Â
The logic of death says save, contain, keep---At. All. Costs. Mary operates out of the logic of the resurrection, which is extravagent, over-the-top, ridiculous, slightly uncomfortable andÂ overflowing with goodness. Theologian Paul Tillich calls Mary's action a holy waste. I call it reckless, wild love.
Reckless, wild (yet properly ordered) worship today at 4:30PM. Can't wait.