We’ve all carried souvenirs home from our travels. While I don’t have a strong desire to garner mementos, occasionally on a trip, I am compelled to buy something . . . but when I do, it’s something particularly meaningful. It’s something I buy knowing it’ll always remind me of an inspired moment, adventure, person or an emotion.
On my trip to Cairo earlier this year, I visited one of the largest suks (bazaars). There were countless store fronts with souvenirs ranging from King Tut ceramic busts to fine linen scarves. Of all the merchandise and all the stores though, there was only one that really caught my attention . . . the alabaster stores.
One of my favorite Bible stories is the one of the woman found in Luke 7:36-50. Jesus was dining at the home of a Pharisee and while He was there, an unnamed woman, known only as a “sinner” in the city where she lived, went to Christ with an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and did what no one ever thought of doing.
“[She] stood at [Jesus’] feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.”
Her story is one of the most powerful stories of repentance and forgiveness, one that shows the kind heart of God.
In a recent devotional Anne Graham Lotz shares about another story in the Bible about a woman, expensive perfume and an alabaster jar:
In John 12:3, Mary takes an alabaster jar containing a fortune in perfumed ointment and pours the contents on Jesus’ head and feet. In her act of loving devotion, Mary gave Jesus everything. Her future. Her security. Her reputation. Her pride. And John 12:3 goes on to say, “The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” Mary’s selfless act of worship blessed her home, and the story has inspired thousands of others since that day some two thousand years ago.
What’s your alabaster jar, your most precious possession?
Your plans for the future?
Would you be willing to break that jar open and pour it at Jesus’ feet? Fill your home with the fragrance of your sacrificial love for Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is heaven’s alabaster jar, broken and poured out for you!
The alabaster jar I bought in Cairo sits on a dresser in my home as a reminder to search for ways to show extravagant gestures of love and kindness . . . to set about doing daily deeds without concern of being repaid – to break that jar open and pour it at Jesus’ feet.
(Share daily, and/or weekly reminders of God’s love and His Word with your listeners – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for detail regarding Anne’s 1:00 daily program or her 30:00 weekly program.)