"Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot said, 'Why was this perfume not sold and the money given to the poor?'...Jesus replied, 'Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.'"--John 12:3-7 (NRSV)
I must have got caught up in the beauty of worship or the disgust toward the negative reaction, but for some reason, I have always missed Jesus' words about Mary having the perfume for his burial.
Mary understood what Jesus had been teaching all along. Mary knew that Jesus was about to give up His life. She seems to have understood his teaching about His death and resurrection far more than the other believers--even the disciples.
But even more, Mary couldn't wait to express her love to Jesus. She realized that Jesus would soon be taken from them, so she anointed His body for burial while she still had the chance.
There was a depth of worship here that went far below what appeared on the surface. The other guests saw only an apparent waste or a spur-of-the-moment emotional display...Jesus knew that here was a well-thought-out act of love and worship.
I'm ashamed to admit that this is not me. All too often I haphazardly and half-heartedly step into worship without any meaning or preparation. I rush in and hurry out because I have other places to go, people to see and things to do.
When was the last time my worship cost me something, demanded my full attention or displayed my extravagant love to Jesus?