Beauty and Breaking

Wind in the Chimes: A meditation on John 12:1-8

What does love smell like?  What does hope smell like?  What does resurrection smell like?  On this fifth Sunday of Lent, as we draw closer to Jesus’s final week, and prepare to contemplate his suffering, we’re invited into a story of the senses.  A story of love enacted in fragrance.

All four Gospels tell it — the story of a woman who kneels at Jesus’s feet, breaks an alabaster jar filled with priceless perfume, and dares to love Jesus in the flesh. 

Debbie Thomas Lectionary Essay for Lent 5C on Journey with Jesus webzine

Be inspired to find your own answers to the questions posed by Debie Thomas, one of my favorite teachers, on a favorite website, Journey with Jesus.

Consider Debie’s reflection on the embodiment of love provided by Mary of Bethany to you and me all these centuries later:

What happens between Jesus and Mary in this narrative happens skin to skin. Mary doesn’t need to use words; her yearning, her worship, her gratitude, and her love are enacted wholly through her body.  Just as Jesus later breaks bread with his disciples, Mary breaks open the jar in her hands, allowing its contents to pour freely over Jesus’s feet.  Just as Jesus later washes his disciples’ feet to demonstrate what radical love looks like, Mary expresses her love with her hands and her hair.  Just as Jesus later offers up his broken body for the healing of all, Mary offers up a costly breaking in order to demonstrate her love for her Lord.

Beauty and Breaking a Lectionary Essay by Debie Thomas
Read the full essay here: Beauty and Breaking

More

About Wind in the Chimes

Wind in the Chimes (renaming and a reintroduction of Wind Chimes, 7/21/20)

Wind Chimes: September 25 2012 (an introduction)

Image: “Mary of Bethany” Print by contemporary artist Yvette Rock

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (now retired) in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

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