Shocking. It breaks the rules of respectable behaviour, like the woman Mary of Bethany rubbing perfume on a male rabbi's feet and drying them with her hair, in public. It offends when it looks like a life wasted, like Jesus of Nazareth hung out on a cross to die.
What does love feel like?
Good to the one who can receive it like a baby relaxing in its parents' care, or like a lover in the arms of the beloved.
What does love sound like?
To Judas, the sound of 300 coins, a year's wages, spilling to the ground, rolling away and lost - an extravagant waste.
To Jesus, the sound of friends, of tears and laughter and music and companionable silence.
What does love taste like?
The best food and drink, prepared and served by close friends. The taste of friendship, of family, of belonging.
What does love smell like?
Expensive fragrance filling the house, creating unforgettable memories of intimacy, but evoking thoughts of death and burial.
"Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, annointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume."
John 12: 3
This post is the 35th in a daily series of Lenten reflections based on a Bible reading from the Common Worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on John 12: 1-11.