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Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her?  She has some something beautiful for me.”  Mark 14:6 (NIV)

An unnamed woman anointed Jesus’ head while he was at table in Simon the Leper’s house.  Jesus was only a short time from his arrest and crucifixion, and he received this woman’s gift as an anointing for his burial.  Certainly, there would be no traditional anointing of the body because he would die a criminal’s death.  in fact, in most cases, the bodies were left hanging on the cross until they were eaten away by birds or whatever.

In Jesus’ case, he was buried through the kindness of Joseph of Arimathea who took his body down from the cross and placed it in a grave.  This was Joseph’s gift to Jesus.  In another passage, Nicodemus (the Pharisee who had come to Jesus at night to question him) accompanied Joseph.  That was Nicodemus’ gift to Jesus.  The women stood by him at the cross.  That was their gift to Jesus.

On the other hand, the disciples ran – scattered – hid out of fear.  Later, they would find a new boldness in light of the resurrection as they then spread the word of salvation in Jesus Christ the risen Savior of the World.  That was then their gift to Jesus.

What is our gift?  What can we do for Jesus?  What gifts can we bring, can we offer?  When we think about the capabilities we have and the ways in which we are able to reach out to touch other people’s lives either positively or negatively, which do we choose?  Is our response to someone who is being unkind to return unkindness, or do we choose to find words that will diffuse the situation and seek to be a blessing?

This is hard stuff!  We are called to live counter-culturally, just as the unnamed woman in Mark 14:1-9 did.  We are called to make choices that will sometimes be mocked, criticized, and rejected.  Will we persevere or withdraw?  It is our choice.  In Jesus’ call to follow him, are we ready to take up the hard work of faithfulness, too?  This Lenten season, there is much to ponder about how we live our faith.

Let’s choose to do something beautiful to bring glory to God in Jesus Christ.

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