The Oil from Mary's Alabaster Box
(Taken from the Bible)
by Melineze Logan Hite
This play is dedicated to Ce Ce Winans for the inspiration which she provided through the singing of the gospel song, Alabaster Box, that has touched my creative and religious soul.
(There is a church, and a large congregation is gathering inside. People are fellowshipping and greeting one another with a holy kiss. Jesus is at the altar getting ready to sit in a large, stately, and kingly seat. His deacons or disciples are around him, protecting him from all harm and danger.The loud but friendly chatter is abruptly shattered by the appearance of a stranger who obviously does not belong. No one openly objects to "her" being there, but the unpleasant and murderous stares that they give are loudly stabbing into the stranger's heart. They hate her. She has no business in the House of the Lord. She is unclean. She is not worthy to be in the presence of religious folks. She is a prostitute, known to all in this community. She slowly walks through the crowds of people gathered in small groups, careful not to touch anyone with the filth of her clothes and body. She slowly walks around them. They stand boldly, daring her to soil them with her words and her touch. She continues to come closer to the altar of the Lord.)
Female Mother in the church: There is no room for her here in this place.
(The disciples of Jesus, the elders, and mothers of the church stand boldly in front of the area which leads directly to Jesus. They shake their heads in defiance to her intensions of getting close to Jesus. Jesus hears the thunderous silence, and he stops his speech with one of the elders. He slowly puts his loving hand on the elder to gently move him to the side so that he could see what is the matter in the House of the Lord. He sees a child of God trying to come to him but being unable to because of the throng of Christians.)
Jesus: Let her come to me.
Elder, near him: Lord, you do not know this woman. You do not know what she is or what she has done.
Jesus: Let her come to me.
(The line opens slowly, and the woman appears in bejeweled clothing, golden earrings, and golden bracelets, with heavy makeup. She is crying at this point, because of his kindness. She has never known genuine kindness. She looks up at Jesus and smiles softly and thankfully. She is on a mission. She cannot turn back now. She reaches for something underneath the layers of silken garments. An elder on the far right immediately is ready to descend upon her, until he realizes it is only a little golden, treasure box. Everyone becomes calm, but they anxiously await her next move.
She says not a word, but her actions speak louder than words. She falls at the feet of Jesus, and before she kisses his feet with her lips, she wipes harshly the lipstick from her mouth.She is declaring her great love for Jesus by kissing his feet over and over again. She begins to cry furiously, because she remembers the sin that has binded her since she became a woman of thirteen. Her tears are not worthy to be stained on the feet of the Lord Jesus. She begins to wipe them with her long, beautiful, black hair. She lays down by his feet. Upon realizing that his feet have now been soiled by her unworthy lips of praise, she opens the treasure box, made of gold and alabaster. Inside, there is a small container of precious oil. She opens it at his feet and begins to anoint his holy and precious feet with very costly oil, fit for a king. It is a token of love, respect, and adoration. The people softly gasp at the beauty of this miraculous moment of truth, healing, and rebirth. They feel humbled by the act of true obedience, love, and servitude.)
Jesus: Do not touch this child of God. You did not wash my feet when I entered the House of the Lord. She did with her tears.You did not anoint my feet when I entered the House of the Lord. She did with her oil from her alabaster box.
Child, sin no more. You have been forgiven. Your faith has made you whole.
Mary ( boldly): Praise the name of the Lord! I have been forgiven! My sins are washed away! Thank you, Lord! I am born again!
(The entire congregation repents of the sin of unforgiveness, and they move toward the woman who is no longer a stranger but a fellow child of God. They now greet her with a holy kiss. She is changed forevermore. She is now accepted into the family of God.)
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I've always believed this (next to the crucifying and resurrection of Christ) to be one of the most soul saving stories in the Word. It grabs me by my heart, stirs me to such surrender, and moves me to tears of thanksgiving every time I hear/read it. Well done!