Holy Week’s First Outpouring
And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Matthew 26:6-13**
Nothing which is poured out over You — no amount of time or devotion — is waste. You received her perceived squandering, then, just as You receive from me now.
I adore You, oh God who encourages my weak worship.
You didn’t merely tolerate her offering, in hopes she might soon learn to be the worker You need her to be — You embraced her then. There. That spilling over of love was her life memorial. You canonized her because extravagant love poured out over You is worth remembering. To You, this love was good work.
Life stopped for costly love, because You are costly love and this love paradigm — this love exchange, that she could give to You?! – that You have set up, is life.
I love You, Definer of life and love which works radically against my insides.
She knew, early, that her firstfruits were intended for Your person. Our best was made to be laid at Your feet.
Even the Son of God can receive. From her, from me. I have something to give You. Oh, God, I adore You for welcoming my weak worship.
She played a part in the world’s epic story, all because of her extravagant outpouring, and You linked her story — in every place, across the earth — to the very story of Your emptying. The memorial wasn’t just unto You, it was told “as a memorial to her.”
You share Your glory and yet this very parceling-out brings You more glory. Who is this God who invites my partnership, like it invited hers that day? My participation doesn’t require You to divide what is due to You, it sows into Your method of multiplication.
You make me shine! My story, woven to Your story, doesn’t threaten You, it exhibits You. You don’t need me, You want me.
And in shining, I bring You glory.
That day, You endorsed that which even those who shared Your days saw to be great waste. But she loved lavishly so that I might know Your cross wasn’t the only extravagant offering.
I get to pour out too.
I love You, God who not only gives, but receives. You give me reason to worship because my worship catches Your eye. She moved You in that fleeting moment where the earth witnessed Your last days. What moment am I in, now, which might also be fleeting?
You welcome worship — the kind of worship which interrupts my sense of normal — and my life, too, can become memorialized in Your eyes because of it.
I want to squander it all for You, God. I adore You, God, worthy of my greatest emptying.
I love You, oh Father-Creator of unorthodox participation.
**So what do I do with these posts, you ask, other than just read them? First, if you haven’t yet, read: Why I Adore and Morning Chai, Explained to give you a context for this little space on my blog.
If you are compelled, I invite you to participate. Set up a space and time in your own life to begin adoring. Over laundry or dinner dishes, on your commute to work, or in the wee morning hours — five or ten minutes is a great start. You can use the verse I list here every day or two as a launch pad for your own adoration. (Showing Up gives you some practicals.)
Then practice praise.
I promise your weary soul won’t regret it.
***You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit)
Additionally, all of the Morning Chai Posts can be seen, in the order of posting, by clicking here or adding this address to your reader: http://EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai