A Whole Jar of Perfume
This week is Refugee Week. A week in which to ponder especially how we look upon the vulnerable people in our world, how we treat them and, most importantly, to give a long and honest look at what is within our own hearts.
There is a story in the Gospels about an alabaster jar and a woman who anointed Jesus with costly perfume and I think it has much to say to us. Well, there are four stories actually, one in each of the four Gospels. These stories have similarities and differences. It is not certain, however, whether it is the same woman and the same occasion referred to in each story or whether these accounts refer to separate events, although many scholars would agree that Luke’s story does in fact refer to a different event. Mark, Matthew and John tell a similar story with the difference that John names the woman as Mary, brother of Lazarus, whereas in the other two accounts she is unnamed. These writers do not comment on her moral standing. Luke’s woman, however, is unnamed but she is referred to as a sinner. The home Jesus was dining in is variously referred to as that of a Pharisee, or that of Simon the leper, and John tells us that Martha – the sister of Mary and Lazarus – was serving, so we assume it was in their home…
Ms Kerry McCullough
Dean of Mission