Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"Listen to Her"
Mark 14:1-11

You know this unknown woman. She’s you. She’s me.

She’s the expression of deeply intimate love pouring out the best of what she has and who she is.

But don’t take my word for it, take instead this word of Mark’s: “nard.”

A word that would take listeners back to their best-known love story – expressed by another unnamed woman to a man who in this moment, she likens to a king, her king:

“While the king was on his couch,
my nard gave forth its fragrance.
My beloved is to me a bag of myrrh
that lies between my breasts.”  (Song of Songs 1:12,13)

But look out, there are critics in the room, some we hear, some we imagine; what does she think she’s doing? Stupid woman, there’s justice to be served! What a waste, pouring out the finest anointing oil, the way some prophets anoint kings? Does she think she just chose the king!? Did the personal just become political? Plots of betrayal and crucifixion are happening out in the world, but she’s choosing a moment so personal some will call it irresponsible.

Whatever she’s done, she just woke up the critics in the room.

She’s waking them up to the why of it all.  The why we serve, the why we speak out and stand up; finally telling the critics to get out of the room and get out of our head. Because first and foremost we have been radically loved by God.…and it’s all about to change, in just a few more days, this anointed man will be nowhere and everywhere.

Individually and collectively, we pour out the best of what we’ve been given, anointing in love those we serve in any given moment. The critics will say what they say. But as Saint Teresa would remind us, it was never between you and them anyway. It’s always between you and God… in a love story of your own.

Rev. Nicole Trotter
SFTS MDiv 2015
Pastor, St Luke Presbyterian Church, San Rafael, California