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With Open Hearts

Apr 17, 2003 05:43 PM EDT

Mark 14:3-9 (NRSV)



While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat atthe table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointmentof nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on hishead. But some were there who said to one another in anger, "Why wasthe ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have beensold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to thepoor." And they scolded her. But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why doyou trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For youalways have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to themwhenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done whatshe could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly Itell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world,what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."




While [Jesus] was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as hesat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costlyointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointmenton his head.


-- Mark 14:3 (NRSV)




I'VE heard this scripture many times, but when Jeremias, a young manfrom our church, used it in a sermon, I saw it in a new way. In hisanalysis, Jeremias stressed the verb break, alluding to the woman whobroke the alabaster jar of costly ointment. The issue was not to keepthe precious perfume but rather to pour the ointment on the Master.Then Jeremias asked an important question: "Have we opened our heartto give all to the Lord, or have we kept some part for ourselves, forour own satisfaction?"



After breaking the alabaster jar, this woman could not keep theperfume. Likewise, when we come to the feet of Jesus Christ, weshould not hold back anything. God desires that we open our hearts tothe Savior totally, leaving behind what is negative and unworthy andallowing Christ to dwell in us.



Prayer: Enter into my heart, Lord, for it is all yours. I cannothide from you. You know me and you have called me. Thank you. Amen.



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:


Where am I holding back a part of myself from Christ?



PRAYER FOCUS:


Those who do not know Christ

By Adalgisa Lappost (La Romana, Dominican Republic)