Monday 19 July 2021
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine and the fragrance of your oils more than all kinds of spices!
Smells have a very powerful effect upon us. Throughout nature fragrance is emitted. Plants and flowers are a great example where fragrance is released to attract the bees or other pollinators to come and carry life. Have you ever been near lavender plants after it’s been raining? The smell is one of overwhelming delight and tranquility, some of us may even use lavender oils to put on our pillow at night to help us sleep. Many of the perfumes we buy are made from extracting oils from plants. However, there are smells that repulse and when you walk into a room that has had a water leak for a while, the smell of fusty damp isn’t inviting. Or like a room that has been burnt repulse and repel, like the smell in the men’s toilets in church a few weeks ago when a rat had died in the pipework!
The fragrance of Love
Our bible story this week is the start of a short series on a few of the people who met Jesus and were changed by the simple gospel stories. But reveal the deep way Jesus wants us to encounter Him and in His presence be renewed and changed deeply. We start this Sunday with the story of a woman who poured her perfume onto Jesus’ feet as an act of love and devotion, recognizing Jesus as the Son of God, the one who loves, forgives and restores.
The ‘Song of Songs’, an Old Testament book of the bible, is thought to be a picture of both God’s loving relationship to us and our loving response of love to him. It is written about the most intimate of relationships, ‘marriage’. God is saying that when we pour out our love it is beautiful and better than wine and that the fragrance of that love (the oils) and devotion to Jesus releases a smell that is better than every other smell on the earth.
The story of the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume is contrasted with the cold religious attitude of the Pharisee who was full of judgment of others and lacking in love. Essentially releasing a fragrance of death that Jesus challenges.
Break open your Alabaster Jar and pour out your love, devotion and worship. Release the sweet aroma that God delights in, attracting His presence and bringing forgiveness and love to your life.
Luke 7: 36-50
Break and empty your Alabaster jar because the fragrance of love comes through the pouring out.