Anointing by Steve Garnaas Holmes
may everything I do today
be my anointing of you;
every thought, word and deed
a pouring out of myself for you,
a gift of service, adoration and thanks.
May every act comfort you,
receive your sacred story,
join me to you in your suffering,
embrace your dying
and prepare for what will follow.
In your death may you be wrapped
in the balm of my own heart.
Give me courage to give my gifts
no matter how others may judge them.
May my life give off the aroma
of gratitude and love.
Accept the anointing of my tears,
my prayers, my being.
In your love
I carry the alabaster jar of my life
into this new day.
Why This Waste? by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
The oil is poured
The criticism comes
even while the scent is still thick in the air
Why this waste?
Why take the time?
Why spend the money?
The poor, remember the poor
There’s so much work to be done
Yes beloved, remember
Remember the poor and remember her
The way is And not Or
Worship and Work
Loving God and Loving Neighbor
Looking Up and Looking Out For
The cross-shaped life
The work doesn’t work without the worship
The worship’s unfinished without the work
Pour Forth by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
There… beyond the feasting circle
Who are you? What is your story?
No name, no voice
Yet coming close with your gifts
Some are easy to see
An alabaster jar full of exotic perfume
And you pour forth more gifts
Out pours your heart
The air is thick with your story
It oozes down your Beloved’s beard, pooling on his callused hands
The shattering brings the circle silent
The aroma, meant for all to enjoy
Instead draws an angry answer
They will not bear your story
Cutting remarks fly at you through the fragrant veil
Indignant daggers thrust into your offering
How dare you! Who do you think you are?
We have a better way
Such a waste… code for waste her
Shatter her spirit
Quick, to the stones
A broken body is the cure
Stop! Leave her alone declares the Anointed One!
No! You misunderstand!
You miss the mark!
She did what she could- all that she could
Balming my body for burial
You have loved Me
Censing my sacrifice
Grace made fragrant
An act beyond words
A silent song for the ages
It is blessing. It is beautiful.
You are blessing. You are beautiful.
Soak it in
You there, religious ones
You berate, rebuke and bombard
While she… she breaks open
She breaks through bearing the Good News
Your words will fall forgotten
Her story will stand… remembered
The anointing of Jesus is mentioned in all four gospels and probably recounts two different events. Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8
Matthew, Mark, and John mention the location of Bethany and the woman as Mary, the sister of Matha and Lazarus. Mary is criticized for the extravagance of anointing Jesus with the costly nard rather than selling it and the proceeds given to the poor.
In Luke, the location seems to be in the region of Galilee in the north. The woman is unnamed. Jesus himself is brought into question and criticized for allowing a sinner to touch him.
In Matthew and Mark, Jesus’ head is anointed. In Luke and John it is Jesus’ feet.
The details are interesting, but do not miss the main points- the extravance, the courage, the thanksgiving, the grace, the blessing, the welcome. This is why we remember.