I have a few favorite scents.  Mainly I love a clean scent or vanilla.  Both of those are favorites for me.  The smell of clean is refreshing and the smell of vanilla is warm and cozy.  John 12:3 tells us of the scent that filled Mary’s home, “then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”  Mary gave all to worship Jesus, including this most expensive perfume which was possibly her dowry.  That night Mary displayed the scent of her home.  She set the atmosphere for worship and love in the presence of others including Jesus’ disciples.  This act of love was extravagant and an example for us all to follow.  I can imagine that the scent of the ointment filled the home for days.  But, not just the scent. Mary’s love for Jesus filled the home as well.  Her demonstration of love set the tone for the evening and spoke volumes of the love that was in her heart for Jesus.

Extravagant love is the kind of love that disregards everything else so it can focus on one thing alone: the object of that love.  In Mary’s case, the object of her love was Jesus.  Mary had that kind of love for Jesus that sacrificed everything.  She set the proper atmosphere that day in Bethany.  Mary’s example is a true challenge to each one of us.  Do I have the kind of love for Jesus that sacrifices everything?  Is my love for Jesus extravagant love?

It is said that it only takes one person to set an atmosphere.  Because the woman is one of moodiness, most of the time an unpleasant atmosphere is set by us, whether at home or elsewhere.  The atmosphere we set extends through our family into the lives of friends, acquaintances and co-workers.  As Mary set the atmosphere that afternoon in Bethany, we too must be willing to give all.  Mary took responsibility for the influence she had that day and it has been passed down through the Bible as an example for us. What our hearts ponder, our faces reveal and that is the atmosphere we choose to set.

What would you like for your home to smell like this year? It can have the smell of materialism, busyness, tenseness, or it can have the smell of love, happiness and Christlikeness. Set the atmosphere by allowing the love of Christ to permeate your life and your home. What does your home smell like?