April 6, 2009

Monday, April 6--John 12:1-7

We continue with our journey to Easter with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

Most of the crowd had entered Jerusalem. Mary and Martha met only a few people on their walk back to their home. They had plenty of time to think about their brother and his friend.
“Remember how sad we were when Lazarus got sick?” Martha broke the silence.
Mary nodded, “And how angry you were that Jesus didn’t come right away.”
“Well, you would think he would come to help his friend,” a hint of the remembered rage could be heard in the woman’s tone.
“But then Jesus did come,” Mary’s face was radiant.
“After our brother was dead,” her sister stopped for a moment and stared across the valley. “I met him in the road and accused him.”
“Yes,” nodded the younger woman.
“I felt awful when Jesus cried,” Martha looked downcast. “Then he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ That was the beginning.”
Mary smiled broadly. “He raised our brother from the dead! Everyone was amazed!”
“I was afraid at first,” Martha admitted more to herself than her sister. “When Jesus said to roll away the stone, I warned ‘he will stink after 4 days.’”
“You are always practical,” her sister smiled.
Martha looked at her companion. She shook her head sadly.
“It’s not always enough. Somehow you always know what to do to make Jesus feel welcomed. All I manage is to be organized and prepare food.” A deep sigh came from the woman’s lips. She frowned at her hands as if they betrayed her.
“That’s important,” insisted Mary, laying a hand over her sister’s.
“When you brought out the jar of nard, I knew he would be pleased with your offering of the anointing,” Martha continued. “It wasn’t something I would have even thought of doing.”
The woman started walking again. Mary stared after her with a confused look on her face.
“It was just a gesture of adoration,” she argued and hurried to catch up.
“I know,” with a slow nod, Martha continued. “Your gift was given freely and I could only watch and marvel at your love.”
“Not everyone understood,” Mary whispered and a tear ran down her cheek.
Martha hugged her close. “Don’t worry about what Judas said. Jesus told him to leave you alone.”
“I know. ‘She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’ I don’t know what that means,” like a small child Mary grabbed tightly onto her sister’s hand.
“You have a special gift,” was all Martha could say to reassure her sister. “When it is needed, you will have the perfume ready.”
The two women hugged and arm in arm walked the rest of the way to their home lost in their own thoughts. For the rest of the day they kept busy cleaning the house and preparing food for the upcoming Passover feast.
(by Cynthia Davis, 2009)

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