“While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? . . . . And they scolded her.” (Mark 14:3-5)
Women have been scolded throughout history. This woman was no different. Those around her were swelled up with self-righteousness, and they tried to beat her down with words.
This probably wasn’t her first scolding. Yet she chose to continue in her ministry, to give to Jesus what she was able to give.
It’s sad that the others didn’t recognize her authority to make her own decision about what and how to give. They failed to understand her broad view of ministry. She knew what she was doing.
Have your decisions been challenged or scolded today? How will you claim your own authority to make decisions? How will you respect that authority in others?
This message is adapted from a devotion written by Mary Ingram Zentner for Women of the ELCA in 1998.