Pastor Ian Kinney

Pastor Ian Kinney

Zion, Immanuel, St Paul, First

The Brady Bunch says “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” but Jesus says “Martha, Martha, Martha.”

In Luke 10, Jesus sits in the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Mary sat at our Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching, learned of His love, and the salvation He was accomplishing. Martha on the other hand was distracted. She had things to do! There were turkeys to baste and lights to hang, presents to buy and houses to clean. In her mind, it was Mary who was the distracted one! She was being distracted by Jesus!

In the way that Saint Luke puts it, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving.” At which point, Martha stops Jesus mid-sermon and rebukes Him for His teaching. After spending some time telling Jesus everything He is doing wrong during the holiday season, Jesus gently turns to Martha and begins to teach her. In Brady Bunch style, He says “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.” Jesus reminds Martha that while she was so concerned with her perceived busyness, it was actually Mary who had chosen the better portion: to sit at Jesus feet and listen to Him.

Saint Luke doesn’t record how Martha responded. Perhaps upset, perhaps embarrassed, perhaps offended, maybe she even threatened to leave the Church! But as you will often find, Jesus was right. Even though Martha was so proud of herself with all the good she was doing during the holiday season, it was Mary who was doing the better work.

My friends, strive to be like Mary and avoid being like Martha. On Sunday, November 28, the Church begins Her season of Advent. Though not celebrated by many congregations, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Historically a time of fasting, increased prayer, spiritual preparation for Christmas, increased devotion to Scripture, and extra church services. You need time like Martha to sit at the feet of Jesus. You need Advent. Christmas doesn’t begin until December 24. Don’t get distracted by perceived busyness. Don’t get bogged down with all of your work that takes you away from Jesus’ work. Like Martha, you need to sit at Jesus’ feet for a couple weeks and learn from Him. Jesus loves you and He wants to serve you and take care of you. While you are so concerned with all these things with which you burden yourself, Jesus wants you to concern yourself with Him. He wants you to be busy with Him. He wants you to sit at His feet and learn from Him. You need Advent. Jesus says “one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken from her.”

Mary had chosen to learn from Jesus, sit at His feet, and receive His gifts. Be like Mary. Don’t be distracted by all these things that want to take you away from Jesus. Spend some time in Advent, sit at our Lord’s feet, and be distracted by Jesus.

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