9/20/21 Devotional from Ed
September 20, 2021
Text: 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 that 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.”
Devotional: Our new curriculum presents an alternative perspective on this story. I've usually considered it simply a message that Mary is doing the "right thing" in Jesus' eyes, but here's what the Follow Me Adult Reflection Guide says:
"But what about Jesus actually choosing a side, and saying Mary chose 'the better part?" Why did he say that? Remember that part of the practice of hospitality is creating space for mutual interaction; both the host and the guest should receive something from each other. Mary chose to receive what Jesus had to offer as a guest in their home, while Martha was allowing herself to be distracted by her tasks and her anxiety about completing those tasks. Wile she willingly and openly received Jesus into her home, she wasn't receiving what Jesus was offering to her. She was too busy and distracted to be fully present with Jesus.
"This has implications for how we evaluate our own gifts for hospitality, as well as lift up and make room for the gifts of others. Both meeting the physical needs of guests and being fully present with our guests are important in the Christian practice of hospitality, as is being open to receiving from our guests what they have to offer."
May we keep these words in mind as we continue to welcome others and their gifts.
Prayer: Dear God, Fill us with your Spirit this day and beyond. Open our hearts to be welcoming to all of your children by using all of the gifts we have been given. Amen.
Work Cited: Babb, Lynne and Cindy Cushman. "Welcome All: Adult Reflection Guide." Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living. Ed. David Maxwell. Louisville, KY: Growing Faith Resources, 2021.