Mary's Hair


April 01, 2019

By Timothy Haut.

Rev. Timothy Haut is just beginning his 40th year as Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Deep River.  His tomatoes are already sprouted under lights in the basement, and he is working on a collection of poems based on the lectionary cycle, including this one, written in 2007.


Scripture: John 12:1-3  (NRSV)

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. 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.

Reflection: Mary's Hair

Her sister, 
Laying plates in their places
And straightening the napkins once more
Did not notice at first--
Nor did her brother, 
Still wide-eyed, fresh from the tomb,
Sipping wine
That had never tasted so sweet.
They did not notice 
As Mary
Stepped through the door
Letting down her long, black hair,
Shaking it free--
For her a tender, holy oblation.
She had seen the road-weary feet,
Noticed the scars, the scratches,
And knelt, lifting the heel in her palm,
Spilling precious oil,
Spilling her heart, 
Spilling love itself
Until its fragrance filled the room.
Her eyes filled with tears.
As somewhere outside, 
A dog barked,
And a hammer rang against wood.

Prayer:

Gracious God, we cannot enter your Holy of Holies, except by love itself.  So come and rest at my table, or in the secret places where I wait to spill my heart to you.    I would dare to be wild and extravagant in my devotion, but usually I stay cautious, watchful of what others think.   But once in a while, God, I would say it for the world to know:  I love you!  Amen.


New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at drewp@ctucc.org.

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Mozambique in the wake of Cyclone Idai where cholera is spreading due to infected water supplies
  • For the family and friends of  the Rev. Wallace W. Anderson Jr., former pastor at the Second Congregational Church of New London, who died on March 11
     

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

  • For all the fire fighters in our communities who risk their lives to save people and property at all hours, in all weather

Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:

Monroe
Monroe Congregational Church UCC
 
Morris
Morris Congregational Church, UCC
 
Mystic
Mystic Congregational Church UCC
 
Naugatuck
Congregational Church of Naugatuck
 
New Britain
First Church of Christ, New Britain, UCC


This Week in History:
April 1, 1582, (437 years ago) Four mathematicians and one scribe document the first time phase-shift, calculating a lost moment in time spanning 0.00401 seconds. They theorized that the missing slice of time was the result of a sudden and simultaneous change in gravitational pull from the moon and the sun. When they presented their findings to the scientific community later that April, it was widely criticized as pure "folly".
 
Coincidentally, the First Day of April has been an unofficial holiday for pranksters dating back to 1582 when France adopted the Gregorian calendar, making New Years Day January 1, instead of April 1. Some French were slow to receive the news of the change and continued to celebrate between March 31 and April 1, eventually becoming the subject of jokes which labeled them April Fools.

Oh, and the time shift thing... never happened.

Starting With Scripture: April 01, 2019 , by Timothy Haut.