Sunday 21st July 2019


MARTHA AND MARY

MAY I SPEAK IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.

WORRY AND DISTRACTION

“MARTHA MARTHA, YOU ARE WORRIED AND DISTRACTED BY MANY THINGS, THERE IS NEED FOR ONLY ONE THING. MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART WHICH WILL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER”.

I WONDER HOW MANY OF US HAVE BEEN LIKE MARTHA AND WORRIED ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT. WITH JANICE IT’S HER HANDBAGS. EVERY DAY SHE AGONISES OVER WHICH HANDBAG TO USE AND CAN CHANGE HER MIND SEVERAL TIMES OVER A FEW SHORT MINUTES. WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO US, IT CAN BE WORK, HOBBIES, THOSE JOBS THAT THE WIVES HAVE GIVEN US AND HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR WEEKS AND WE MEN SAY, “DON’T WORRY I’LL DO IT SOON”

 

IF WE HAVE GUESTS, THEN THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN SHOWING OUR GUESTS WELCOME AND PROVIDING THEM WITH COMFORTS, TEA, COFFEE OR A MEAL. ENTERTANING IN ITSELF IS DEMANDING, BUT IMAGINE IF SOMEONE CAME TO YOU AND SAID THE QUEEN IS VISITING THE TOWN AND SHE WOULD LIKE TO VISIT YOU FOR A CUP OF TEA, OH BY THE WAY SHE’LL BE HERE IN ABOUT HALF AND HOUR.

PANIC STATIONS OR WHAT.??

 

IMAGINE HOW MARTHA MUST HAVE FELT WHEN THE SON OF MAN TURNED UP.

QUITE UNDERSTANDABLY SHE WOULD HAVE WANTED TO GET THINGS PERFECT. THERE’S NOTHING IN THE PASSAGE TO SAY WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH REGARD TO PREPATION BEFORE JESUS ARRIVED BUT I WOULD IMAGINE IT WAS ALL HANDS ON DECK EVEN MARY WOULD HAVE HELPED, BUT WHEN JESUS ARRIVED, MARY KNEW INSTANTLY THAT THIS WAS A SPECIAL MAN AND NEEDED TO BE HEARD.

 I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW MARTHA MAY HAVE FELT WHEN JESUS APPEARED TO REBUKE HER. BUT WAS IT A REBUKE?? IT COULD BE SEEN AS AN INVITATION FOR MARTHA TO LISTEN AS WELL. “MARTHA MARTHA YOU ARE WORRIED AND DISTRACTED BY MANY THINGS, THERE IS NEED OF ONLY ONE THING” JESUS HAS CHOSEN HER HOUSE TO STAY AT AND SHE NEEDED TO HEAR THAT SHE WAS NOT VAULUED FOR WHAT SHE WAS DOING OR HOW WELL SHE WAS DOING IT, BUT TO REALISE THAT SHE WAS A CHILD OF GOD.

AS JESUS SAID IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 4 V4” MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT COMES FOR THE MOUTH OF GOD”

LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT THE WAY JESUS SPEAKS TO MARTHA, I THINK HE COMMENDED HER ON HER SERVICE TO HIM. SOMETHING HE VALUED HIGHLY WAS SERVICE ESPECIALLY TO NEIGHBOURS REMEMBER THE PARABLE BEFORE THIS WAS THE ONE ABOUT THE GOOD SAMARATON. THE PROBLEM WITH MARTHA THAT SHE IS WORRIED AND DISTRACTED, NOTE THE WORDS, WORRIED AND DISTRACTED. SHE IS BEING PULLED IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, WHICH SEEMS TO BE A COMMON THREAD IN OUR LIVES AND YET JESUS SAYS IN LUKE 12 “CAN ANYONE OF YOU BY WORRYING ADD A SINGLE HOUR TO THE SPAN OF YOUR LIFE”

THE DEFINITION OF DISTRACTED IS UNABLE TO CONCENTRATE BECAUSE ONE IS PREOCCUPIED BY SOMETHING WORRYING OR UNPLEASANT.

 WELL TO HAVE JESUS IN YOUR HOUSE IS CERTAINLY NOT UNPLEASANT BUT FOR MARTHA I CAN EASILY SEE HOW IT WOULD AFFECT HER, IT COULD BE SAID THAT BECAUSE SHE WAS SO CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING IT RIGHT SHE FORGOT WHO WAS VISITING. HER DISTRACTION PREVENTED HER FROM FOCUSING ON WHAT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT. MARTHA’S WORRY AND DISTRACTION PREVENTED HER FROM BEING TRULY PRESENT WITH JESUS AND IT CAUSED HER TO DRIVE A WEDGE BETWEEN HER SISTER AND HERSELF AND BETWEEN JESUS AND HERSELF. SHE HAD MISSED THE ONE THING NEEDED FOR TRUE HOSPITALITY. THERE IS NO GREATER HOSPITALITY THAN LISTENING TO YOUR GUEST. HOW MUCH MORE WHEN THAT GUEST IS JESUS CHRIST.

SO WHAT THEN OF MARY, WE ASSUME FROM THE COMMENTS OF MARTHA THAT AS SOON AS JESUS ENTERED THE HOUSE MARY WAS THUNDERSTRUCK AND WAS INSTANTLY DRAWN TO HIM, AND HUNG ON HIS EVERY WORD.

 MARY WAS A PERSON WHO GAVE HER FULL ATTENTION TO JESUS AND WHAT HE WAS SAYING, DOES THIS MEAN THAT SHE WAS WRONG IN LETTING MARTHA DO ALL THE WORK, OF COURSE NOT. THIS IS ONE INSTANCE IN THE LIFE OF BOTH OF THEM AND I’M SURE AS A WOMAN OF THOSE TIMES SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN A HARD WORKER BUT SHE KNEW JESUS, WHO HE WAS, AND WHAT HE REPRESENTED.

  MARTHA REPRESENTS THOSE CHRISTIANS WHO BELIVE IN JESUS BUT ARE TOO CAUGHT UP IN WORLDLY/ MUNDANE THINGS TO GIVE TIME TO BUILDING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. MANY GO TO CHURCH ON A SUNDAY BUT OFTEN FORGET ABOUT THE REST OF THE WEEK. FOR THEM MONDAY TO SATURDAY IS THEIR TIME, A TIME FOR WORK FAMILY AND OTHER INTERESTS. THEY ARE SO BUSY BUILDING UP THEIR FORTUNES IN THIS LIFE THEY FORGET ABOUT THE FORTUNE THEY WILL RECEIVE IN THE NEXT. BELIEF IS NOT ENOUGH. WE NEED FAITH AND TRUST AS WELL, BELIEF IS IN OUR MINDS BUT FAITH IS IN OUR HEARTS.

MARY ON THE OTHER HAND REPRESENTS THOSE CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE THAT TRUE FAITH. THEY PAY FULL ATTENTION TO JESUS, THEY STUDY GOD’S WORD AND PUT WHAT THEY READ AND HEAR INTO PRACTICE. JESUS SAID “LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF” MARY IS ONE OF THOSE. SHE IS NOT DISTRACTED FROM THE LORD. MARY ALLOWS US TO SIT AT THE LORDS FEET AND HEAR HIS WORDS, TO WORSHIP HIM IN DEED AND WORD. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THESE CHRISTIANS DO NOT WORK, EVERYONE HAS TO SURVIVE BUT WORKING THROUGH THE LORD PRODUCES ALL KINDS OF EXPERIENCES, HAPPINESS, JOY, THEY SEE THINGS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT, PERHAPS THROUGH ROSE TINTED GLASSES SOMETIMES.  THEY LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN PEOPLE NOT THE BAD, THEY ARE LESS JUDGEMENTAL. WITH THE LORD AT YOUR SIDE YOU WILL SEE ALL THESE THINGS AND MORE.

I HOPE I HAVEN’T GIVEN THE IMPRESSION THAT MARTHA WAS A BAD PERSON, SHE WAS NOT. SHE’S JUST LIKE MANY OF US, YES ME INCLUDED. WE CAN BE EASILY DISTRACTED FROM WHAT IS IMPORTANT AND LOSE OUR FOCUS. REMEMBER WORRYING DOES NO GOOD, AND MUCH OF WHAT WE WORRY ABOUT IS NOT SO IMPORTANT IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS AND YET WE CANNOT SEEM TO STOP OUR ANXIOUS THOUGHTS.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE?  ARE WE LIKE MARY OR MARTHA

I’M SURE MANY OF YOU WILL HAVE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS ON WHAT YOU’VE HEARD TODAY AND SOME MIGHT FEEL A BIT DISILLUSIONED BUT REMEMBER OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS WITH US EVERY DAY.

 IT’S OUR CHOICE WHETHER WE ENGAGE WITH HIM OR NOT.

AMEN.