First, this week’s Gospel lection:
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. 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.” –John 12:1-12 NRSV
Being the “word guy” that I am, it’s often difficult to admit there are other ways to approach scripture than scholarly exegesis and/or allowing words and the images they evoke to lead me in devotion and contemplation. But consider the haunting beauty of this wonderful rendition (posted on YouTube) of folk singer/songwriter Sydney Carter’s “Said Judas to Mary,” performed here by Bri-anne Swan:
*Adapted from a 2013 ForeWords blog posting.