Bountiful Spirit -April 4, 2021
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Reflection by Rev. Diane Tomlinson
As dawn breaks over the city, the women begin their long walk to the place where Jesus is laid. Their feet feel like cinder blocks as they walk to the tomb, so weighed down are they by grief. For the moment, though, they have laid their grief aside to tend to their dead friend. The spices they carry are more than enough to anoint several bodies. The story reminds us of the woman who anointed Jesus with costly nard, to the horror of Judas. Remember, he was upset because of the waste. Chastising the woman, he tells the disciples the nard could have been sold and the money given to the poor.
For the women, no amount of spices was enough for anointing Jesus’ body. The purchase of the spices was the only way they could express their love for him. They are lavish with the spices, just as Jesus was lavish with his love and healing. How many times have we been called to be extravagant with something: love, praise, or money only to find ourselves closed to whatever it is we are to do or say? God’s lavish gift to us in sending his Son to model and a better way of living. Jesus repeatedly says throughout the Gospels, “I came so that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” We, too, can live abundant lives, lives filled with extravagant and reckless abandon towards others. One hundred pounds of spices seem small compared to what we are given on this Easter Day, an example of what abundant living is.