John 12:1-11

It was the last time someone would throw a party in your honor. 

Martha, Mary, Lazarus – they were your friends. 

You raised him from the dead.  Did you want to ask him what it was like?  Was there a part of you that wondered about Lazarus’ death and resurrection, even though you knew his death would never compare to yours?

Or were you just soaking in this last night with such dear friends?

Were you just glad that Lazarus was alive and reclining at the table with you, eating and laughing?

Were you cherishing these moments of fellowship, knowing that incomparable loneliness was before you?

Were you surprised when Mary approached you?  Or did you know that, of all the people who would bless you as you approached Jerusalem, it would be her adoration that would be most poignant and most shameless? 

Did tears come to your eyes as she demonstrated her deep affection for you?  Did your heart swell with gratitude and love for this woman who always sat at your feet and hung on your every word (Luke 10:39)?  Did your throat choke up as the fragrance of her extravagant offering permeated the room, momentarily preventing you from speaking?

Did you smile, knowing that Mary already understood the lesson you would get on your hands and knees to teach your disciples in just a few days?

Or did this act of preparation for your burial only make it more real to you that the cross was drawing ever closer?

Did your words make sense to anyone else in the room?

Did you wish that the crowd understood?

Jesus, what love you must have felt for Mary.  And what disappointment you must have felt over Judas. 

Make me like Mary, Jesus.

Shameless and extravagant.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.  (II Corinthians 2:14-16)