I was reading a reflection on the Mark 14 passage where Jesus was anointed by an unnamed woman. Do you remember the story?
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
The reflection I was reading pointed out something I probably should have known before, but seeing it this time transformed my understanding of what's going on in this passage.
Or rather “The Manger Gift Hypothesis”: What do you See? How do you respond?
This is my go-to Christmas message for new groups of people...
I love Christmas.
The excitement has been building, the traditions are all rolled out of the box, and it’s time for us to watch those classic seasonal films and eat the food that we only ever consider at Christmas... I mean, when else can you justify watching the Muppets Christmas Carol and eating turkey and brussel sprouts (neither of which any of us really like if we’re being honest...)!
And then there are the Christmas specials that come on the TV, both the classics that we’ve loved and watched for years, and the latest seasonal offering produced by our current favourite shows.
My favourite all-time Christmas episode of a TV series has to be, without a shadow of a doubt the Christmas episode of the Big Bang Theory, Episode 11 from Season 2.
For those who are unfamiliar with the show and the characters, the story revolves around a group of geeky male scientists (well, 3 scientists and an engineer) who are ridiculously intelligent yet socially clueless and inept, and their socially gifted yet intellectually inferior female friend Penny. Invariably the episodes revolve around Penny trying to impart useful social practices and common sense to one of more of the men who just don’t get it.
Sheldon is the most socially inept of the 4 friends, and in this clip he is struggling with the concept of gift-giving.
In this episode, titled “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”, Penny tells Sheldon that she has a gift for him for Christmas and Sheldon, though he despises the concept of giving and receiving gifts, knows that the right thing to do is reciprocate the gift with something of equal value, but how does he do that when he doesn’t know what the gift is? And so, he comes up with the “Bath Item Gift Hypothesis,” which is explained, and undone, during this clip.
One last thing you should probably know before we watch: Sheldon doesn’t do physical contact.
Here's today's revelation, which I came across in my reading:
Contemplation is the action of be present in the temple.
"contemplation (n.): c. 1200, contemplacioun, 'religious musing,' from Old French contemplation and directly from Latin contemplationem (nominative contemplatio) 'act of looking at,' noun of action from past-participle stem of contemplari 'to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate,' originally 'to mark out a space for observation' (as an augur does), from assimilated form of com-, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + templum 'area for the taking of auguries' (see temple (n.1))."
I've got the rare opportunity to do a 2-part series with one of the churches in the circuit. They're a smaller congregation, but the are faithful, and active, and proved to be excellent company yesterday morning.
Part one, yesterday, was titled "Mountain High", and in a few weeks I'll be back to do part two "Valley Low."
Let us take a moment to thank Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell for the title:
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