A Message from Pastor Gary – April

“Newsletter for Easter 2024”

You have heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are some things that are beautiful to most everyone. The story found in John 12:18 is such a thing.

It is a sequential reading following the raising of Lazarus in John 11. Mary and Martha throw a dinner party for Jesus in appreciation for what He has done. Mary took a pound of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

This was a very expensive gift worth about a year’s wages. It would be like having an expensive bottle of wine that one would hold on to until just the right occasion.

The symbolism here is rich and plentiful. The beautiful fragrance is a contrast to the stench of Lazarus who was in the tomb for four days. The very expensive gift is on Jesus’ feet which can indicate that wealth and material things belong under foot, not over our heads. It’s okay to have money as long as money doesn’t have us. The gift also works as a keepsake for Mary since she has wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. The fragrance remains with her as a reminder of their connection. I remember keeping a bottle of my father’s cologne for many years after he died. The scent reminded me of him.

Easter is a time that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Worship continues to remind us of Him. The sights, the sounds, the taste of Holy Communion, and yes, even the smells of Easter flowers all remind us of Him and His great love for us. John 12:18 is a precursor to the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, the cornerstone of our Christian faith.

The Bible has many stories that convey power, wisdom, truth, knowledge, etc. It also includes some beautiful stories. John 12: 18 is such a story and it would probably be considered such by most everyone.

Pastor Gary