A Debt of Worship

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Yesterday I needed to go to the bank. I got there before the doors opened and while I waited I read the fine print on the bill I was about to pay. Among the tidbits of information was one that informed me that if I were to pay only the minimum amount required each month it would take me six years (including interest, of course) to cancel the debt. Good grief!

This morning I read about an incident that took place just before Jesus began that final journey to the cross. He was visiting the house of Mary and Martha and enjoying a meal with His friends. “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (John 12:3),

When I lived in Venezuela I used to buy the flowers from which nard perfume is made. The smell was so powerful and so beautiful that it filled the house just as is described for us here.

Jesus had spoken about His death. Did Mary somehow sense that it was coming soon? Nard was one of the spices used to anoint the bodies of the dead. Or could this also have been an act of worship? Mary believed what Jesus had taught. She knew the gift of God's grace at work in her life. She had seen the Lord bring her own brother back from the grave. She was grateful. Did she feel a debt to Him that she could never pay, but still deserved the best that she could offer?

I dislike owing anybody anything. When the bills come due I pay them off immediately and completely. But there is a debt that I can never repay. What Jesus did for Mary, for me, for you, on that cross, deserves a lifetime of worship. It’s a debt we can never repay but still needs a response from us.

Mary worshiped the Lord with a sweet smelling offering of nard, the best she had. The fragrance of worship touched the lives of all those who were present. What offering of worship can I give to the One to Whom I owe so much? And how will the fragrance of my worship touch those who witness it?

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