The Manna and the Stone

A Theological and Practical Journal of Bible Presbyterians

Month: May 2017

What Happened to Their Alabaster Jar?

I don’t know the weight of grief these three women had—

Who went on a mission to anoint Christ’s crucified body.

I don’t know the depth of sorrow of their tortured souls.

I don’t know the desperate need to touch Him one more time

To relieve their aching pain.

I don’t know the cost—actual, tangible cost—of the spices these women expended.

I don’t know what happened to their perfumed treasure.

But what I do know is when they arrived in the dawning of the first day,

The stone was rolled away.

As the shades of light brought clarity to the early hours,

So, the morning’s discoveries revealed an empty tomb.

The need to anoint His body was no more.

The mission to honor the dead became a mission to declare life.

The oil of sorrow—Now the oil of joy.

But wait—

What happened to their alabaster jar?

Ah—do you not know?

It still overflows as a beloved tribute arousing our senses today–

To some, it is an odor accosting the soul

With the enormity of death.

While, to others, it is a life-giving, fragrance diffusing

His weight of glory.

Conversations – 5/5/2017


I just bumped into this comic since the previous Conversations, and I was struck by how much Christian literature falls in precisely this camp. As I’m looking into doing a church plant, I read quite a bit of literature about church planting and much of it is essentially summarized by, “I have a big church, here’s how you can get a big church too.” I realize that’s crassly cynical, but sometimes I think we could do with a bit more cynicism about the literature we consume in our own circles. Continue reading