We meet again in this ‘together but apart’ way in gratitude for life and all that is good.

Doesn’t the image above make you want to throw your face into a flower so you can drink in the smell? Sometimes flowers just look that good, that you can only assume they will smell good too. I hope for the wee girl above’s sake that the bee population hasn’t made the same assumption!

Today we reflect on Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus where Mary lavishes the gift of smell on Jesus and incurs the wrath of one of his followers, Judas.

Let us worship God!

Psalm 126

A Harvest of Joy

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
    ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we rejoiced.Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
    reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    carrying their sheaves.

A Prayer on the Way

Creator God,
you have formed us as your own,
so whether we are weeping or laughing,
dreaming or shouting for joy,
we are always coming home to you.

As we pause, pray and reflect together on this day,
place in us a spirit of generosity
so that we may freely share love, joy, and encouragement with those we encounter.
Keep us from quick judgments
so that we leave room for your grace in our lives and in the lives of others.
Make us your faithful disciples in our words and in our actions,
as well as in the thoughts of our hearts;
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

We Listen

Here’s Bette Midler with the song she made famous The Rose. You will know people who seem to contract rather than expand, or hold tight rather than give, and thus never learn to live. And others who dare to dance, dream, give and live. We will meet two such characters in our gospel reading today.

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed
It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.

from The Rose, released 1980
Written by Amanda McBroom and performed by Bette Midler.

A reflection from Anne

John 12:1-8

If you would like to read today’s reflection you can do that here:

A Prayer for the Road

Blessing

May we slow down or stop often enough
to take in the smells around us,
a rose, a newborn baby’s head, a favourite perfume

And may we take on the smell of grace,
and be the aroma that brings life
sharing it, growing it, rejoicing in it.

Amen.


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