Sunday, April 01, 2012

What is Wasting?

I was reading in the bathtub the other night and came across a story that has always unsettled me. I'm going to blog several times this week so that I can walk through this story bit by bit.

The chief priests, elders, and people of high stature gathered at Caiaphas' house to plot how to ruin Jesus. Jesus was at Simon the leper's house. The scandalous tagline that followed Simon even into the Bible. He was a marked man. Jesus had merely hours left in his life and he chose to spend several of those hanging out with a leper. With a friend.

As they reclined at the table and broke bread together, in strolls a woman with an expensive flask of ointment. She opens it and the aroma sends a message of beauty and extravagance to the disciples lounging nearby. To Jesus, it is the glorious smell of his impending death. The disciples were indignant in reminding Jesus that they could have sold this perfume to help the poor. Jesus needs them to understand that for this moment, His preparation will take precedence. While bread would help the poor for today, his life would rescue them for eternity.

She took the perfume and slowly wove it through Jesus' hair, preparing his mind and heart to die. It is this act of "wastefulness," that Jesus said will be "proclaimed to the whole world."

I have to say that I understand the disciple's angst here. I feel the urging of those around me to help. And we know that Jesus is not telling them that the poor are unimportant, he just needs them to understand that His death would be the ultimate justice for the world.

So often my eyes remain fixated on the concrete and fleshy confines of my day. The people and their questions, the beggings of my children, the food unevenly distributed, the list of things that steadies my attention. This is my reality.

As Easter approaches, I want to be extravagant in my time with Jesus. The things that normally beckon my attention need to sit behind my meditating on the life, ministry, and death of Jesus. If I am going to "waste" time this week, I want it to be because I am soaking in the cross. Because I am in awe of a King ushering in His reign by dying. So contradictory. So perfect.
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