April 3, 2022

Series: April 2022

Speaker: Bethany Nelson


Today's Sermon




Psalm 126
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lordhas done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. 

John 12:1-8
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 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, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 

The four Gospels in the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – each tell the story of Jesus’ life and ministry.  Though they all write about the same person – Jesus – their accounts of Jesus are actually quite different.  There are not many stories about Jesus that are in all of the four Gospels.  One story that is found in all four is the anointing of Jesus.  In each one of the Gospels, a woman approaches Jesus with a jar of very costly perfume and anoints him with it, while at least one of the onlookers questions her decision.

The general story is the same, but the exact details differ in each of the four accounts.  The timing of the stories is different, the location is different, the woman doing the anointing is different.  So, there is much about this story that could be left to the imagination. There are many details that we could wonder about, allowing our curiosity free reign.

Today, we will wonder together about the story as it is told in the Gospel according to John.  We don’t know the exact details.  But we can certainly imagine about what might have taken place.

(Note, instead of a “traditional” sermon, Barbara offered a dramatic monologue.)