Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; John 12:1-11
Here we are in Holy Week, the strangest Holy Week I’ll bet any of us have ever experienced. It’s common during this week to ponder Jesus’ life and death, the way he gives his all for us. This year, our awareness of death is heightened. It’s never far from our minds. Stay home. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Prepare to grieve.
Jesus, too, is preparing his disciples to grieve. Jesus’ words often have multiple meanings. Here, Jesus turns the perfumed oil Mary has lavished on him to soothe his dry skin into something more, an anointing for burial.
Fortunately, we know there is a happy ending to the story. The tomb can’t hold him for long, and never will again. At this point in the story, he has done what he set out to do: give sight to the blind, give hope to the hopeless, challenge the powerful, raise the dead.
Jesus reminded people that God is always doing new things, just as Isaiah and the Psalmist promise. God continues to do new things today. Just look at how we have been forced to learn to use technology and the people who understand it to keep us connected, to help us be together to worship!
While this disease ravages our world and has physically divided us one from another, we seek to be together any way we can. We want to help those in need. For example, Facebook is filled with photos of people making masks out of bandanas and other cotton fabric and giving them to those in need. There are stories of individuals and corporations giving funds to support food pantries.
Keep up your prayers. Keep up your phone calls to each other. Keep coming to online worship. It is not the same, but it is better when we all sign in, and we know we are together.
And never forget that the tomb is empty. If God can do that, God can do anything!