This is the third prayer in a series of Easter prayers, featuring photos from my friend’s recent trip to the Holy Land. Today’s photo is from the Dead Sea, not too far from the town of Bethany, where Jesus was anointed on the Tuesday of Holy Week.
When she approached the table
with her beautiful vase,
you did not condemn her.
You looked at her with love
in a culture that devalued women.
Everyone heard the jar break.
Everyone turned to watch
as she anointed you with pure nard.
Everyone knew that scent.
It reminded them of every funeral
they had witnessed before.
Some complained at her extravagance.
Some rebuked her and tried
to cast her out.
But you defended her.
You deemed her act beautiful.
You dismissed the squabble over money
and spoke of the eternal.
You honored her
for preparing your body for burial
for catching the glimpse of truth
others couldn’t see.
You promised her story would be told
throughout the world.
To this day, Jesus, we hear her story.
We see her offering.
We see her sacrifice.
We see her devotion for you.
This Holy Week
help me offer you my best.
Give me a willing heart
to offer you everything I have
to withhold nothing from you
to enjoy you every moment.
Give me eyes to see your truth.
Give me ears to hear your Word.
Fill my senses with your presence
like the perfume filled the room
permeating the disciples’ clothing
clinging to them all week
reminding them of your words.
Questions for reflection:
Scent is a strong memory marker. Which scent reminds you of God’s presence? (For me, it’s the scent of an extinguished candle from the end of church services.)
What can you offer Jesus today out of your love for him?
Join me every day this week for more prayers in honor of Holy Week.
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