July 06, 2012

The Smell of Acceptance

John 12:1-8

The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
—John 12:3


One of my favorite childhood memories is of my mother’s cooking. She would take whole chickens from the refrigerator and prepare them with her secret ingredients of herbs and spices. Then she would gently place each piece into hot, bubbling oil. The fragrance of the chicken traveled through our apartment. She did not have to call us to the dinner table; the mouthwatering smells drew us in. To me, the aroma of the chicken my mother made displayed the depths of her love and care for us.

Jesus had dinner in the home of Lazarus. Mary wanted to show her love for Jesus, who gave her his unconditional love and acceptance. She broke open a flask of expensive perfume, and, without words, lavished the oil on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.

Mary’s devotion to Jesus was caught by everyone except Judas. He was more worried about the cost of the perfume than noticing the sweet smell of love in the room. He missed the chance to enjoy his only Savior.

But others in the room probably never forgot the smell! Mary chose to enjoy the Son as the one who fully accepted her as God’s child and who appreciated her act of love. The room probably never smelled ordinary again.

Are you ready to break open your best for the Lord?

Lord, I want to leave a scent of love and devotion to you alone. Help me to freely spread acts of mercy, grace, and peace to others in your precious name. Amen!

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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