While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly. "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me" Mark 14:3–6, NIV
When I worked as a choreographer, I marveled at the dedication of ballet dancers. They invested years in daily training, making huge sacrifices of time and effort to develop the strength, grace and skill needed for their art. And that was just the first step. Once they were in a production, they poured out more of themselves—repetition, discipline and a constant attempt for perfection. All for a fleeting performance.
Dance is an extravagant art form. It requires a huge offering of love. For the dancers I know, every strained muscle, each disappointing audition, every sacrifice of other activities is worthwhile because they are creating a work of beauty and power.
The woman with the alabaster jar understood that sort of extravagance. She gave beyond what seemed reasonable to the onlookers: a year’s wages for one moment to demonstrate her love for Jesus.
My life is full of activities on which I could lavish time and attention, and many of them don’t provide much return on the investment. But when I spend time alone with Jesus, pouring out my love and praise, breaking open the alabaster jar of my heart to share with Him, I can never be too extravagant. Nothing I offer Him is wasted.
There will always be important needs that could benefit from my attention, just as there were poor people who could have benefited from the money the perfume could bring. But there are also times when the gift Jesus most wants from me is worship. I long to hear Him say, as He did of the woman in Bethany, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
FAITH STEP: Play your favorite worship music and pour your heart out to Jesus, telling Him how much you love Him.
Contributed by Sharon Hinck