Smells Like Love - John 12:1-8

The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad indeed



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this:

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

There is no other commandment greater than these.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.


God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from our sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

sung by Billy Dewar Riddick


Merciful God,

look upon your family as we travel to the foot of the cross:

and, by your great goodness, guide us in body;

that by your protection,

we may also be preserved in heart and mind;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen


read by Andrew Ratnam

Messy Creativity during "in-between" time - Messy Church USA

Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honour me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.

read by Kay Solaja

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had; these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus

Keep Pressing Forward


GOSPEL John 12: 1-8
read by Reverend Ann Wren

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John chapter 12 beginning

at verse 1

Glory to Christ our Saviour

She has done a beautiful thing... – Real Life %

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord


Etiquette Tips for a Child's Baptism or Christening

I remember in St Andrew’s Church being privileged to do the baptism of a two- year -old girl. Baptism is a joyous occasion in the life of a child and that of their parents. But this baptism was different from any other I have ever conducted. There was a sense of joy as the family came together to bless the life of this little girl but there was also a real sense of fear and foreboding in the atmosphere too. This little girl had a rare form of cancer and her prognosis was not at all good. Sadly, two years later after her baptism, I returned from Ireland at the family’s request and with the Rector’s consent to take her funeral.

In our gospel story today, I sense that same joy and foreboding that I felt at that little girl’s baptism. There is great joy in Jesus’ returning to share in a celebratory meal with his followers. Jesus wants nothing more than his followers at this time to be united and joyous. Yet in the background, there is this sense of foreboding, as the plotting and scheming of the religious leaders and authorities continues. Jesus’ life is in real danger and there is tension crackling in the air.

1,133,930 Tension Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Before long, there is the obvious confrontation of Judas and Mary, but even before that we have the practical actions of Martha and Mary, that provoke reaction. This little cameo in the life of Jesus is recorded in some fashion in all the gospels. Luke’s version is slightly different from the other gospels but the fact it is recorded in all four gospels highlights its importance and significance.

This incident happens six days before the Passover in Bethany, a small town outside of Jerusalem. You can imagine how busy that area would be as people are making their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, and are staying in the nearby villages. So, this gathering of Jesus with his friends is probably one of his last meals with them before his death.

In Bethany we have met before the two sisters Martha and Mary. They appear to be rounded characters, and we feel in a way that we already know them. Martha in all probability has made a great meal for Jesus in her own home, out of gratitude for Jesus bringing her brother Lazarus back to life. What struck me is that although she would have had servants in the home, she herself chooses to serve. In a way this is her final way of expressing her deep love for Jesus. Our worship and devotion to Jesus can be shown in very practical down to earth ways.

OUTRAGEOUS: Synonyms and Related Words. What is Another Word for OUTRAGEOUS? -

Mary, not to be outdone by her sister, steals centre stage. Not this time by sitting at Jesus’s feet like a disciple, but by her apparently outrageous gesture of anointing Jesus’ feet and wiping them with her hair. We are told Mary took a pound of pure nard which was inside an expensive alabaster vial, and she broke this vial, pouring out all of its content on Jesus’ feet and then wiped them with her hair.

Mary’s gift is outrageous. Outrageous that a household member, a woman from a respectable family, would pour ointment over the feet of a dinner guest. Outrageous that any respectable woman would appear in public with her hair unbound.  Mary of Bethany loved Jesus with a passion that was outrageous. We see love’s extravagance. Mary took the most precious thing she possessed and spent it all on Jesus. To her, the opinions of others regarding her behaviour toward Jesus meant nothing. She had heard his words, “I am the resurrection and the life” spoken before Jesus restored the life of her beloved Lazarus. Despite the dangers that surrounded them, despite the fact that Jesus was determined to go on to Jerusalem where the powers undoubtedly would take Jesus from her, Mary knew first hand that Jesus already was the resurrection and so she anointed him for his burial while he was still with them. But Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus with more than just oil. In the intimacy of her touch Mary communicated her love for Jesus as he faced the most difficult of ordeals. This gift of Mary’s is an extravagant one.  Love is not love if it nicely calculates the cost. It gives its all and its only regret is that it has not still more to give.  Outrageous as this act may have been, it was an act of selfless and extravagant love.

Extravagant Love — New Life

Her extravagant act of love is a prophetic statement about the fact that before long Jesus is going to be buried and buried so hastily that there might not be time for proper anointing, so she performs it when she can. We see Mary’s loving humility. It was a sign of honour to anoint a person’s head. “You anoint my head with oil,” says the psalmist. Mary would not look so high as the head of Jesus; she anointed his feet. The last thing Mary thought of was to confer an honour upon Jesus; she never dreamed she was good enough for that. Mary’s gift to Jesus is her acceptance of the role that Jesus has to fulfil on the cross. She makes no attempt to stop him going to Jerusalem to die. She does not understand the cross fully but of all the disciples she is the one who accepts his destiny, and reaches out pastorally to him in his moment of struggle and fear. She did a beautiful thing for Jesus.

We are told that Mary broke open the jar of ointment and we are also told that the smell permeated the entire house. Symbolically, this beautiful act of love left a scent strong enough to last until the final day of Jesus’ life. Symbolically, this beautiful act leaves the faint but certain smell of love wafting through this worship space and surrounding all acts of love; the extravagant ones and the simple ones. Sometimes life just stinks, and the only way to overcome the stink is to break open extravagance so that the sweet scent of compassion can fill us with the love we need to endure. The scent of our own loving deeds can often last far longer than we might expect.

Dustin Smith - Extravagant Love (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO) - YouTube

I was thinking of the extravagance of Mary’s love and how the scent of loving deeds lasts and I was reminded of the true story of a little boy and his sister. A little girl was in need of a life- saving operation that would also require a blood transfusion. She had a rare blood type and only her brother could give her the blood she so desperately needed. So, the parents and the doctor explained the procedure and after considering it for a few minutes the little boy agreed to give his sister his blood. After the blood was taken from him and transported to the operating room the boy turned to his mother and asked, “So when do I die?” It was only then that his parents realised that the little boy thought that by giving blood to his sister he would actually be giving up his own life and he was actually willing to do just that. Such was his extravagant love. In what ways are we invited now to show extravagant love…in providing homes for the Ukrainians, in reaching out to the poor in Dumfries, in offering our time to the lonely, in welcoming the outcast? Whatever it is. Do it! Do that beautiful thing, the thing that love requires. Do it for the love of God. Even if other people don’t understand it. Even if they complain and criticize you for it, be extravagant like Mary of Bethany.  Do that beautiful thing, in memory of her, for the sake of Christ! 

Pious Sounding Critics" — John 12:4-6 (What Jesus Did!)

The alternative to being extravagant like Mary is to be like Judas. Here in this cameo, we see how a man’s view can be warped. Judas had just seen an action of surpassing loveliness; and he called it extravagant waste. He was an embittered man and he took an embittered view of things. A person’s sight depends on what is inside them. They see only what they are fit and able to see. If we like a person, they can do no wrong. If we dislike them, we may misinterpret their finest action. A warped mind brings a warped view of things; and, if we find ourselves becoming very critical of others and imputing unworthy motives to them, we should, for a moment, stop examining them and start examining ourselves.

It was Judas’ ill-natured complaint that the money which that ointment could have raised should have been given to the poor. But as scripture said: “The poor will never cease out of the land; therefore, I command you saying, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land”. To help the poor was something that could be done any time. To show the heart’s devotion to Jesus had to be done before the Cross on Calvary took him to its cruel arms. Let us remember to do things now, for the chance so often never comes again, and the failure to do them, especially the failure to express love brings bitter remorse.

Carpe Diem | Amandala Newspaper

In other words “Carpe diem”… seize the day. Some things we can do almost any time, but some things we will never do, unless we grasp the opportunity when it comes. We are seized with the desire to do something fine and generous and big-hearted. But we put it off–we will do it tomorrow; and the fine impulse goes, and the thing is never done. Life is an uncertain thing. We think to utter some word of thanks or praise or love but we put it off; and often the word is never spoken. Don’t hesitate, do it! So, toss caution to the wind and be as extravagant as you can be. Let the fragrance of Christ breathe in, with and through you. Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church


We believe in one God,

the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living

and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,

the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father.

with the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Christ Jesus, at dinner with friends, Mary anointed you

in anticipation of your forthcoming passion.

Inspire your church with this profligate love.

Delight us with the fragrance of true devotion to you.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Are 'Big Four' accountants a waste of space? - Ian Fraser | Ian Fraser

Christ Jesus, Judas and Lazarus shared your company.

confront all who sit in parliaments, councils, committees

with the call for honesty and integrity.

Keep us respectful, hopeful

and eager to do your will.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Synergy Hospitality Group | LinkedIn

Christ Jesus, Martha served at the table,

as an act of deep devotion to you,

ensuring you and all the guests were fed.

Bless all whose work is overlooked or not appreciated.

Let none be despised or dishonoured.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Christ Jesus, you acknowledged

that the poor will always be with us.

As we recognise the limits of our capacity,

to help and support all,

give us your Holy Spirit and grace

to do whatever we can,

wherever we can

and however, we can.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Christ Jesus, your hand brought healing to many.

We lift to you those who are suffering in body, mind and spirit.

Come to meet them in their times of weakness and frailty,

and give them strength, comfort and peace.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Ukraine latest updates: Zelenskyy rejects Moscow's ultimatums | Russia-Ukraine  war News | Al Jazeera

Christ Jesus, you advocated and practised the way of peace.

We think of the horrors and devastation

that is happening with this war in Ukraine

and pray for peace and stability

as well as a complete end to all hostilities.

Be with all who mourn,

with all who are lost and bewildered

and bring a significant other into their lives,

that can be a reassuring and comforting presence.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Christ Jesus, everything we have is of little worth

next to the value of knowing you.

Present to all who have died your heavenly prize.

May we with them attain the resurrection to come.

God our refuge and stronghold

We put our trust in you.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.



May Christ, give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.