While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?  It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.  She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.  Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Mark 14:3 (NIV)
This is an extract from a chapter in Ken Gire’s book “Windows of the Soul”, called “The window of scripture”
I spent a lot of time in seminary studying the Bible, and it led me to a lot of places. Hebrew. Greek. Systematic Theology. Hermeneutics. A lot of good places. And at those places I learned many of important things. But it was Mary, in an intimate moment with the Saviour, who taught me what was most important. And it wasn’t how pure my doctrine was. It was how passionate my devotion. That was what mattered to Jesus. That’s what he defended. What He called beautiful. That’s the picture He memorialised for all time.
Not everyone, though, shared his taste in art. The scribes and Pharisees, to name just a couple. They were the most biblically educated people in the world.
They believed the right things. Taught the right things. Prided themselves in being scriptural. And yet …
And yet Jesus didn’t prop any of their pictures on his mantel.
The pictures dear to Jesus, the ones He holds close to His heart, the ones that bring a tear to His eyes or a smile to His face are ones like Mary’s. Because what touches His heart is not how much we know, but how much we love. Not how pure we are, but how passionate.
Maybe that is why, when Pharisees were fighting over theology, prostitutes were falling at the Saviour’s feet and slipping into the kingdom of God on their tears.
From that point on, my view of the Scriptures changed. I realised then that the Scriptures revealed a person who was searching for me, reaching out to me. A person who wanted not simply a personal relationship with me but an intimate one. Now when I read the Scriptures, I read searching.
Help me, O God,
To treasure all the words in the Scriptures,
but to treasure them only as they lead to You.
May the words be stepping-stones in finding You,
and if I am to get lost at all in the search,
may it not be down a theological rabbit trail,
or in some briar patch of religious controversy.
If I am to get lost at all, grant that it be in Your arms.
Help me to love You the way Mary did.
And something of the spilling passion of her devotion, spill onto me.
“Windows of the Soul”, by Ken Gire