Monday, April 02, 2007


Yesterday our reading was from John's account of Mary pouring perfume over Jesus' feet (John 12.1-11). We ended up in a discussion about this action. I was reminded of Stuart's comments on the verse 'you will always have the poor with you' and also Sam Well's comments in his lent book Power and Passion:
The perfume was worth a year's wages. Think of all the useful things that could have been done with such a sum of money ... there is a nagging anxiety that the criticism is right - that waste is wrong in principle, and the waste of transferable wealth that could benefit the disadvantaged is invariably wrong in practice. Such a view deep down assummes that the fundamental problem with the world is the shortage of resources and that the fundamental solution is an incremental redistribution of those resources. Simply to pour resources away - to empty a jar of pure nard - is thus a terrible thing. But this view, though widely held, does not seem to be Jesus' view. Jesus does not live in a world of scarity. For him, the defining force is the love of his Father, of which there is more than an enough for everybody and plently besides. For Jesus, the glorious abundance of the women's perfume epitomizes the extravagant nature of God's love in sending his own Son. (166-167)

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