Alabaster offering

The Bible tells us about a woman who, filled with gratitude, emptied an alabaster jar of perfume on the feet of Jesus. This woman had a great debt, a sin debt, which Jesus forgave. She was overwhelmed.

The offering she lavished on Jesus was socially unacceptable. She was a sinner and had dared to touch, even wash, the feet of her Lord. This drew rebuke from the religious ranks around them. And they were scandalized at the use of the costly perfume. Alabaster is a beautiful hard stone that was able to keep perfumes sealed for long periods without evaporation. For many young women, this would be the dowry that had been saved up for her wedding. If this woman were a prostitute, as most scholars surmise, this jar would have held dashed hopes and dreams as well as her financial security. In any case, it was an expensive display of love that she literally poured out. It was her way to show gratitude.

I, too, am forgiven. Does my gratitude lead me to humble myself and make an offering of great sacrifice? I am contemplating what my alabaster box holds, and if I’m willing to give it to Jesus. Is it something I’m tempted to keep safely tucked away, in the hope it will satisfy some day? In this season of gratitude, I hope to learn to give back to God with unashamed extravagance. And may we all let generosity be the mark of our thankfulness.

As she stood behind Him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7:38

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