He comes here again. He comes in very different days. The last he came here I went rushing to meet him, through tears and in confusion. He comes now, I will not rush to meet him; I stand here with my stove and pots and dishes and I will make him a feast. These hands that dressed my brothers corpse, dressing vegetables and massaging spices into meat. Eyes that wept then, now streaming because of the onions. He stopped by tears then with words of hope and power. My brother stepped from the grave at his call and my Lord spoke life into my heart: resurrection and the life. I believe him. I will ready the feast. My brother readies himself, my sister (oh my sister), is busy doing everything not needed. We are changed by Him. He comes here again. I am glad.
They will be so angry, so shocked. This ointment, my dowry, worth more than its own weight in gold. His feet, I saw his feet when he last came here. I fell there, in the midst of tears and grief, it is most ridiculous, but I saw them, cracked, dry, broken, sore. He travels so far, he walks too often. His words comfort the crowds, his words raise the dead, and His own feet are broken. It is not my fate to marry, so why should I save the riches of this ointment? If I do not pour it out on him this jar will fester and wait until my death, poured out on me, wasted on my lifeless shell. Tonight, I will break it on his broken feet. He gave me back my brother, he spoke words of life and power, He defended me from Martha’s scolding: my refuge, my hope. This ointment could not be better spent than on his tired feet, his broken body. He will at least be ready for the next stage of his journey. They will be so angry, so shocked, but in this I will show our love for Him.
Once when I was a boy, I woke in my uncle’s house. I did not know where I was, had no idea. Before I opened my eyes, the smells and sounds were not of home, and when I did this strange rooftop did not give way to the sight of the Temple. I cried out, Martha soon came with soothing words. My sister who had mothered me so long. So it was that day I heard the Master call me, I woke in confusion; ‘come out’ and I was all too glad to stumble forward from dank darkness and, thought I did not know it then, death. Martha came and now Mary too – weeping with joy and the remnants of sorrow. “Unbind him” he shouted and I have been free ever since. Now He comes and tonight there will be no mourning, though the times are dark and many seek him for no good, here in my home we will honour Him whose words are life and light. I will sit with Him and listen with open ears and a glad heart, a beating heart. Next to the seat of honour, I will sit and give all honour to Him to whom I owe my life.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a half a litre of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.