The day got off to a great start. We had a special morning at St Mark’s with three baptisms. There was a lot of excitement and noise and expectancy along with a real sense of joy, particularly at the celebration in a local club after the service.
After that the gathering got together with a theme of ‘wasteful extravagance’ based on today’s Gospel reading of Mary washing the feet of Jesus with some incredibly expensive perfume (John 12:1-8). After considering this story we went on to think about words to describe Mary as well as things that were precious to us, and whether we would be able to simply pour, or give, them away.
One station that I particularly enjoyed and was challenged by which Andy and Liz put together was a room with pictures of Mary. As soon as you entered the room you were hit with a rich smell of perfume, coming from two oil burners. The hit on the senses really challenged me over what Mary had done, seemingly without any concern for what others thought, or about the very costly nature of her actions.
I’ve been asking throughout the day … ‘what kind of faith allows you to pour a whole years wages away in such an extravagant act?’ A whole years! Not only is that a massive act of extravagance, but it’s an incredible act of of self denial and trust. Mary was not only worshipping her Lord, she was literally pouring away her security. This may well of been her pension plan … which she pours on Christ’s feet.
Wow … what a faith … a wasteful faith … a courageous faith …