Have been wondering about the gospel text this
week - John 12: 1-11.
Set in the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, after Jesus has raised L. from death.
Martha, as is her way, is bustling about doing the practical side of hospitality: food has been made and sits on the table - the smells are wafting through the house... bread? Lamb?
Lazarus sits there, the smell of funeral spices still lingering...
And then Mary takes a bottle of nard, the oil of funeric anointing, and pours it over Jesus' feet.
The room is overwhelmed by the smell of it: prophetically and literally, the smell of death hangs in the air...
all is hushed... as Mary quietly and intimately dries Jesus' feet with her unbound hair...
It is an extravagant act
a shocking act.
All week, I've wondered about this 'smelly' text and it lingers still....
Smell, I guess, is part and parcel of what incarnation is about - the sense of smell grounding the person of Jesus in our human reality... the living Word
and also bringing alive the words in the passage.
There's an excellent article written on this passage here.