Returning to the Sweet Fragrance




What’s on your agenda Lord? After spending some time in prayer and reading of God’s word, I took some time to reflect and when I do that, I have to write. As I read in both the book of Mark and Luke the account of the woman who poured fragrant oil over Jesus’ head; I asked myself, what am I doing for Jesus that is noble? I took time to recline and think, ponder and pray.

When we pray for others in Jesus’ name, that’s a noble thing. When we bring a meal, send a card; sing a song for Jesus, that’s noble. When we do these things and do them in the name of Jesus, then we are noble. The key in this scripture is that this woman anointed Jesus with her FINE perfume; it was not 2nd best but THE BEST. Why didn’t she pour something over Simon’s skin? After all, he had a serious skin disease. Knowing myself, I would have focused on trying to heal Simon and miss the time with Jesus. I always want to make things better. Anyway, her aim was to give her very best to Jesus. She did a huge thing with a small jar. She anointed His body in advance for burial.

I remember growing up and playing in mom’s bedroom with her glass tray of beautiful perfume jars. My dad always bought her nothing but the best for those special occasions, drawing our noses to sniffing the most fragrant potions. The jars that belonged to my grandmother were intricately shaped with crystal edges. One in particular was cut into an octagon shape with a smooth glass-like texture. It was always empty, but when I lifted the lid I could still smell my Grammy. I would pretend to dab the scent behind my ears and on my wrists as mom instructed. Inside that jar once held expensive perfume.

The woman who anointed Jesus didn’t dab though; she poured; she let it all out, flowing over Jesus’ head. That vision gives me chill-bumps. As I glance over to my small stash of counterfeit perfumes I see my favorite. It is the most expensive, not that it was much but it did cost more and the jar is pretty. I sprayed a little mist on my skin, closed my eyes and pictured myself with Jesus.

We are anointed by the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. His Spirit navigates our every move. Sometimes we can stray from the moment of being in the direction of the Spirit of God. We create a tension between the human thought and the spiritual thought. I don’t believe the woman was thinking anything other than serving Jesus during the anointing. When we incorporate the fullness of living intentionally for Jesus, it will anoint us. If we stray from the “moment”, that won’t surprise us, but rather than beating ourselves up remember that the more crucial thing is that we not focus on the straying but rather on the return.


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