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alabaster

alabaster (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

In Mark 14:39 we see a woman entering into a room of men who, in their own eyes, were “all that and a bag of chips”. This woman knocked on th door, having ONE purpose in her heart and mind, and that was to see Jesus. She came with a plan. Not allowing herself to be distracted by the high and lofty aura in the room, she moved to anoint Jesus with a valuable oil. By this bold act of worship this woman’s behavior said, “EXCUSE ME”. This woman maximized the moment to worship our Lord by giving the best she had. The religious folk in the room became indignant at the sight of a woman, whom they viewed as a sinner, doing something they believed to be wasteful. But this woman moved past all the challenges of opposition, driven by her need to get in the presence of our Lord, said “EXCUSE ME”.

The woman came carrying an alabaster box of a valuable ointment. She was carrying something of great worth: both the container as well as the oil were valuable items. The oil on the inside of the box was more valuable than the container holding it secure. The woman was willing to completely break the box, allowing every ounce of the oil to be used to anoint our Lord. The woman let down her hair, a symbol of promiscuity in biblical times, as she anointed Jesus’ feet and head. Many biblical scholars are troubled by this act of letting down her hair, but I submit to you that perhaps, she being a sinner, gave expressions of worship and intimacy in the best way she knew how. She did not have or know the worship protocol of the religious people of the day; so she made it her own.

Knowing her pure heart and desperate intention, Jesus told the priests and the scribes (the religious folk) to leave her alone. Jesus, our Lord, pardoned the woman who said, “EXCUSE ME.”

I’m reminded of the hymn, “It is No Secret What God Can Do” in which the lyrics say:

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With His arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
For it is no secret what God can do.