And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Luke 7:37,38 (KJV)
I was looking through a concordance to see if I could find any Bible references to the word 'box' when I came across this passage in Luke. We always hear about Mary and her jar of perfume but I was intrigued to see the King James Version calls it an "alabaster box".
I started thinking of all the white cardboard boxes we fill for Operation Christmas Child. They are our alabaster boxes. We offer these treasure-filled boxes to Jesus and pour them out on the 'least of His brethren' as a means of anointing Him.
We recognize that all our treasure is pitiful compared to His glory but it's all we have and so we pour it out. We let down our hair and open ourselves up to disgrace just to show our love for Him. We're willing to do the inconspicuous behind-the-scenes day-to-day menial work of sorting and hauling and packing and stacking and the even harder work of praying and trusting and hoping.
The irony is that He is the one who provides the offering. Just today He answered my continual prayer for more crayons by allowing Mt. Carmel School to loan me 151 boxes of Crayolas from their school store with the promise that I'll return them when the back-to-school sales come around in a few weeks.
He gives us these alabaster boxes and then He allows us the privilege of spilling them out on precious children in His name.
Thank You, Jesus--for being the gift and the giver and the gracious recipient.