The Alabaster Jar

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading


Passion Returned

In her passion and generosity, Mary received criticism from Judas about priorities. Jesus, in response to Judas, acknowledged that there will always be opportunity to serve. Mary, unlike her busy sister Martha, who did so much good and cared for so many, knew “the one thing that was needed” (Luke 10.42) and that was to worship in the presence of Jesus.  

We learn from Mary that true worship is a life poured out in response to a God who emptied himself.  “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.” (Phil 2.6-7)

It’s such a powerful, evocative image: our God poured out in his emptying. He emptied himself to become human, and then as a human he lived humbly amongst us in what would be regarded today as extreme poverty. 

Jesus, our God, gave so much to be born amongst us.

And in the end we see the ultimate act of generosity. He gave his own human life for all of us. It was the most precious gift, the most important giving of all. Five days later, with the scent of the perfume still lingering in his memory, Jesus made his way to the cross. Our God poured out like the precious perfume, emptied on the cross as a sacrifice, acceptable and holy as he died for all us, to atone for our sins. Passion returned.

As we draw to a close in our journey of the last five days, ask God to speak to your heart about the passion and generosity we have witnessed together. Allow the passion of Mary to fill your worship, like the powerful perfume poured out. Rest in Jesus’ presence with thankfulness. Consider your response. 

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