March 18, 2008

Loosing Myself

I so love John 12. I love the image of Mary anointing Jesus' feet with costly perfume just before the week of passion. A couple gave Monte and me a picture of this scene and I have it hanging in my office and can see it as I sit in my favorite chair reading.

For this Holy Week I'm reading a little book by NT Wright called Christians at the Cross - subtitled Finding Hope in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Wright leads you with the theme of music
through this week's story. When Christians say "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures", Wright says according to the scriptures could be considered the bass part, the foundation of the tune. Karaoke recordings have everything but the melody - the song itself, because you're supposed to know the song and sing it. The Gospel Story is the melody. All the other parts create the totality of the harmony and whether it's major or minor, happy or sad.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, he knew all the Old Testament prophecies and what was ahead of him that week. John 12 mentions that Jesus' followers didn't put the pieces together until later. Isaiah said that God will send his servant, with his eyes fixed on his strange work of setting the world right through his own death.

"Unless a grain of wheat is buried, dead to the world, then it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over...If you let your life go, reckless in your love, you'll have life forever..." And this is what Mary did in anointing Jesus' feet. Judas thought it a reckless extravagance. Jesus said, "She has done a beautiful thing to me - preparing me for burial." The fragrance filled the house. The fragrance probably stayed with him through his trial and beating and death.

Who are you in the story: Martha, Mary, or Judas? Because of this scene I ponder: It is very easy for me to 'lose' myself in God, but can I 'loose' myself, as did Mary?

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