Monday, November 26, 2012

Intro: Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42)

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care thta my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me."

But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

Luke 10:38-42, NRSV

Step One

Picture yourself in that home when Jesus arrives as a welcomed guest. Imagine that you are Martha, feeling responsible for entertaining your guest, for providing refreshments and preparing a meal. Maybe you feel stressed out by all the effort it takes to be hospitable. On top of all that, your slacker sister Mary is not doing her share of the work. Have you ever felt like that? If so, in what kinds of situations or with whom? Do you hear Jesus words to you as rebuke or invitation?

Step Two

Now step into Mary's shoes. You don't get much company anyway, but this is Jesus-- wonderful, wise, kind Jesus. You forget everything else in your desire to spend time with the Lord, sitting at his feet and drinking in his presence.  Why doesn't Martha see the opportunity she's missing by being in the kitchen? What emotions are you experiencing as you are aware of her irritation with you? What would you like to tell Martha? What would you like to tell Jesus?

Step Three

With which of these two characters do you most identify? What do you have to say to God about your own experience in relation to these two characters? What are you really longing for in your own heart? Let the story and your presonal engagement with it lead you into prayer.

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