Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” Matthew 26:6-13
We are about to embark on a journey and are staying near the airport so that we can fly out very early. There is always so much to do in preparation for a trip and to make sure we have packed the necessities for our journey. It is normal to be a wee bit anxious before a big journey and trying to stay calm and peaceful is a challenge as any journey begins. Knowing others are praying for you, anointing us with prayer and love on our way, helps to make the journey joyful and calm, no matter what storms face us.
Jesus has spent days telling his disciples of his impending death. When a woman appears to anoint Jesus and prepare him for his journey, they are perplexed. They thought he was talking about the long away future. Her arrival and her selfless act heralds a real change for all of them. They want at first to deny what is going on, and Jesus, by his words and honor of the woman, calms their fears and helps them to find joy in the midst of these radical changes.
Today, as we travel, I asl God to help me be completely open to the changes ahead, willing to risk and grow for the sake of God's people. May we all be anointed by God's love this day, and empowered to embrace the challenges and changes ahead. May we be filled with Christ's love and peace as we move through the squalls and the storms, welcoming God's in-breaking kingdom where ever we might find it today.