“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6: 33
Luke 10: 38-42
Who in the world would you most like to meet? Think who that could be; it does not have to be a person who is alive today. Now imagine that this person was coming to your home. How excited would you be, what would you ask them, offer them by way of hospitality and how would you prepare your home and yourself? If you answer these questions you may be able to put yourself in the mind and emotions of Mary and Martha who welcomed Jesus (our Luke reading). We are told that Martha opened her home to Jesus and then became distracted by all the preparations she had to make. Mary (presumably not in her own home), who was Martha’s sister, simply sat at Jesus’ feet and listened. This vexed Martha who complained to the Lord. A very human response a very real situation.
Jesus responded to Martha, “…..you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Here is where I want to connect with our thoughts this week on God’s Grace filled plans for us and how we live within them. It is easy to oversimplify this account as being a choice between practical action and spiritual devotion. The truth though is that both are needed. We do not want to fall into the different traps of either being so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly use or being so wrapped up in doing that we do not know God at all. It is also true that if we are so anxious or troubled, we cannot choose the ‘one thing we need;’ that which is better for us.
Bringing this point home, Jesus is calling us to choose Him and to lay all that troubles us at His feet. We can then begin to truly know Him and from that choice of Grace our actions will flow. As I often say in Church, “Our being affects our doing; who we are drives what we do.” If we choose Jesus, choose Grace, our ‘being’ will be changed and our ‘doing’ blessed. To echo the words of Christ recorded above, if we truly seek Him, He will help us overcome our worries and all else that we need will be added to us. The next step is then to live in the way of Grace. This latter point has been our area of focus for a while and will be further blessed this Sunday when Chris Barnes talks about ‘Being led by the Spirit.’ May we therefore let go of distraction, choose Grace and be led by the Holy Spirit in God’s plans for us.
To Ponder: What really distracts and worries you at the moment? Try and make a written list and put it before the Lord, giving it to Him and laying it at the Cross (once prayed on in this way it may help to rip up the piece of paper). Then consciously choose to listen to Jesus, in prayer, through the bible and in silence. Listen for His still, quiet voice of Grace.
Pray: May the Lord bless us and keep us; may the Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us; may the Lord turn his face towards us and give us peace. Amen
From Numbers 6: 24-26
Praise: The Blessing
Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp6aygmvzM4&list=RDMMVuCLqoxigNA&index=14
*I am taking some time off now so my thanks in advance to the ‘Guest Bloggers’ who will seek to encourage and bless you in the Lord
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.