In first-century Middle Eastern culture, respectable women never let down their hair in public. But true worship is not concerned about what others think of us. To worship Jesus, Mary was willing to be thought of as immodest, perhaps even immoral.
Some of us may feel pressured to be perfect when we go to church so people may think well of us. Metaphorically speaking, we work hard to ensure we have every hair in place. But a healthy church is a place where we could let down our hair and not hide our flaws behind the facade of perfection. In church, we should be able to reveal our weaknesses to find strength rather than conceal our faults to appear strong.
Worship does not involve behaving as if nothing is wrong; it is making sure everything is right – right with God and with each other.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
- Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread, ‘Letting down your hair’ February 25 2012.