Extravagant Worship- Lent Week One
Then Jesus went to Bethany, to the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. A woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask filled with fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and in a lavish gesture of devotion, she poured out the costly oil, and it cascaded over his head as he was at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were offended. “What a total waste!” they grumbled. “We could have sold it for a great deal of money and given it to the poor.”
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Why are you critical of this woman? She has done a beautiful act of kindness for me. You will always have someone poor whom you can help, but you will not always have me. When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body for burial. I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will also be mentioned in memory of her.”
~ Matthew 26:6-13
We start the Lent yoga series with someone who adored and listened to Jesus. The woman in this story was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus- the one that sat at His feet. More than anyone else, she seemed to understand that Jesus wouldn’t be with them much longer.
And her response to Jesus’ imminent death was beautiful. She worshipped Him. Not a casual, what’s next-on-the agenda kind of worship. But an extravagant, perhaps even an irrational worship.
She didn’t worry about how she was perceived, or what others would think about her choice of worship. No,… instead she looked at Jesus. She allowed him to fill her vision and eclipse everything else around her. She worshipped like no one was watching…. She worshiped in a way that truly took all of her- not just with words, but with entirety of her heart, mind, soul and strength.
The Bible says, “she walked right up to Jesus, and in a lavish gesture of devotion, she poured out the costly oil, and it cascaded over his head.”
Visualize that for just a moment……
See this woman cut into the business of the room and make a bee-line for Jesus. Her eyes locked on the prize…..nothing, and no one could keep her from Him. When she reached Him, she uncorks the bottle of fragrant oil. See the oil breech the rim of the vessel and flow steadily from the crown of Jesus’ head, down His beard and over His shoulders. Image the aroma that quickly filled the room. Imagine the emotion of her heart to His, as she adored and honored her Jesus……
Her response to the cross was an immense sacrifice of worship and praise…..What is our response to Jesus’ death on the cross?
So often in our prayers we cry out for a fresh anointing, for God’s peace and love to wash over us. We ache for Jesus to pour delight, adoration, the feeling of security and belonging over us…. And if you close your eyes just long enough, you may be able to envision Him uncorking a holy vessel of blessing and anointing your sweet head with these things…..just imagine how that would feel…..
The truth is, He does and He’s glad to do it. But do we notice it? Do we ever say “thank you?” What do we offer to pour over Jesus?
As we prepare our hearts for Easter….out of reverence and devotion- what words, thoughts, intentions, can we pour over Jesus as our extravagant form of worship? Maybe it’s a sacrifice of time, money, or space on our calendar just for Him?
Start singing a song of worship and praise, and may it carry you through the cross, past the 3 days of the grave, and straight into the radiance of His resurrection.