Break Your Alabaster Flask


Blessings as we progress together through February.  I pray you are strengthening your trust in Him and what He has for you.  Tuesday is
Valentine’s Day which is a day so commercially set aside to promote feeling of love for those special in our lives.

Setting aside time to appreciate those we love is certainly important.  We are called to love another as we walk out our life on a daily basis.  Yes, it is nice to have a special day to celebrate our relationships, just don’t limit that celebration to February 14th!

Ever wonder how Valentine’s Day came into being?  It begins in the third century when ClaudiusII was the Roman emperor who had ordered all to worship the Roman gods.  Failure to do so was punishable by death.  Valentinus was a faithful Christian who continued to practice his beliefs.  He was arrested and sentenced to die.

While he was imprisoned the jailer brought his blind daughter, Julia, to Valentinus to study as he was a man of great learning.  Her desire was to see the world through his eyes and she prayed for her sight to be granted.  Valentinus encouraged her that, “God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him.”  They knelt and prayed and suddenly Julia received her sight.  The night before his death Valentinus wrote to Julia and told her to live her life close to God.  The note was signed, “From your Valentine.”  (Taken from an Expressions from Hallmark card, 02-08)  I love to remember this every Valentine’s Day because it anoints what may have become such a commercial day with a powerful story of God’s providence, grace and healing.  May it bless you.

This week as I was reading the Bible I read the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil.  Mark 14:3 reads, “…a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard.  And she broke the flask and poured it on His head.”  John 12:3 adds, “Then Mary…anointed the feet of Jesus…and the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”

In those days the alabaster flask was part of the dowry reserved for the wedding night when the new bride would put the oil on the feet of her husband to symbolize love, submission and obedience.  It was sacred and represented unfailing devotion.  For Mary this was the supreme act of worship of her Lord.

She was anointing Jesus for His pending burial.  She offered her most sacred oil in the alabaster container as a complete sacrifice.  Those in the room were appalled that she would waste costly oil in such a way.

As I read this I could not help but wonder what do we hold tight in our alabaster flask?  Are we willing to break that flask and give Jesus our precious oil of worship and obedience?  Or are we like the disciples who think that the most precious gifts should be kept snug in their alabaster container?

Breaking that bottle and pouring out the costly oil was a most significant offering for Mary.  The implications were profound.  Take a look inside your alabaster bottle.  Are you willing to release all or keep a portion tightly contained for yourself?  He awaits your all.    “For where your treasure is, there your heart [it is always a heart issue] will be also.”  (Luke 12:34)

Check your heart this week.  Is it encased in alabaster?  Break the bottle and offer Him your most fragrant heart gift of worship and devotion.

We are ‘praying the states’ during the 50 weeks preceding the Presidential election. This week we cover Connecticut, admitted to the union January 9, 1788. Pray for wisdom and discernment for political leaders, pastors and church leaders, the people of Connecticut and all in our Nation as we progress toward the 2012 election for President of the United States. These are our United States. Let us pray that we will arise ‘for such a time as this.’

Today we commemorate President Lincoln’s birthday.  A story from 1864 recounts Lincoln to have shared about the Bible with his friend Joshua Speed:  “Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith and you will live and die a happier and better man.” (Taken from In God We Still Trust, A 365-Day Devotional edited by Dr. Richard G. Lee)

Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray for our Nation, each other, our service men and women, our youth, peace in Israel.  It is by storming the gates of heaven that we will see God turn from heaven and heal our land.  May He richly bless you and your family now and always.