slut shaming and holy week

jesus kicks off holy week by hanging out with a guy he’d raised from the dead. just chilling with martha and mary, of martha and mary fame, and with lazarus, who is reclining at the table like it’s just another day in the neighborhood.

um, my dude, you died! now you’re just going to eat dinner with us?

martha is, of course, serving everyone. but mary, always the wild card, brings out the nard. oil, perfume, pure nard, uncut, the real deal – and begins to pour it on jesus’ feet and wipe it with her hair.

seems like jesus can’t go anywhere without some woman named mary wiping his feet with her hair.

then who should speak up but judas iscariot himself.

Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

now i don’t know how much you understand about men and women in the time of jesus, but it basically sucked. one of the daily prayers of jewish men then was, “Praise be God that he has not created me a woman.”

yeah, not so great.

and i’m not sure if it’s true, but there are rumors that this prayer is still prayed at most christian colleges, the white house and many local churches.

but then jesus says this:

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

we always debate about the idea of the poor here – but i want to point out this other part.

“LEAVE HER ALONE!”

let’s all just let that sink in.

so why exactly, besides his own greed, does judas speak up? i think women around the globe have some thoughts on that.

to hear himself talk. to put an end to the vulnerable moment happening between jesus and mary. to mansplain. to slut shame. to speak against mary and her actions. to shut her down.

and in that time, that was perfectly fine. just like it is in our time. but right then and there, the god of the universe spoke up and said – leave her alone!

i don’t know where you are at with holy week this year. i’ve found being cooped up doesn’t necessarily lend itself to quiet, that i still have to make space and time beyond the space and time of quarantine to realize easter is still worth it.

and that’s hard.

everything is hard these days.

but this moment gave me life.

i needed to remember that jesus never entertained the bullying of women. i needed to read that jesus hung out with lazarus before he headed to the cross, maybe reminding himself that there is indeed life after death. i needed proof that stupid men who care more about money than people will have to answer for all of their careless words one day.

yes, easter is still worth it.

and so are you, ladies.

so are you.

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