Learning, Being, Doing – 21 July 2013
Welcome to Worship at Ashmore Uniting Church today.
How’s this week been for you as a disciple of Jesus?
As I reflect on that question for a moment, I find that there are many distractions that have got in the way of focusing on my relationship with God this week. Having a holiday where I could make choices for myself for a few weeks and then coming back to a busy work environment has demonstrated quite poignantly the heart of the theme that we will be focusing on today:- Learning, Being, Doing.
How do we keep the balance of this vital aspect of our discipleship?
From Luke 10:38-42 we have an appropriate follow on from last’s Sunday’s challenge by Jesus to “Go and DO the same” (Luke 10:37). This week we find Jesus emphasizing the necessity of “sitting at His feet, listening to His Word” and cultivation that “Being” part of our relationship with God.
We are people who can too easily be distracted. When we sit to meditate, a thousand things can flood into our minds and hearts, and our ability to focus on one thing can readily fly out the window. Sometimes I have been on a Retreat where the stillness is available, but it has taken several days before I can “flush out” many of the distractions of my “outer world” before I have been able to refocus again on the centre of my “inner world”. This is at the heart of our spiritual disciplines where the Holy Spirit seeks to live with us all the time. Let’s share the journey together!
As we focus on Luke 10:38-42 we find Jesus and the disciples continuing “on the way to Jerusalem” (10:38). Jesus and his disciples visit a home – curiously, Martha’s home. A home would always be referred to in the context of the head male, unless such did not exist, suggesting that the two sisters live by themselves. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet – with a desire to learn from the rabbi. This is uniquely masculine behaviour. In this context it is powerful that Jesus clearly affirms her choice. Martha takes on a traditional and important role of hospitality. She prepares a meal for Jesus and his entourage, and understandably is upset that Mary does not join her in this work. It would have been assumed at that time that women sharing a house would also share the workload. When Martha expresses her frustration, Jesus’ response would appear simply to affirm Mary’s choice – it does not suggest he is putting Martha down. Perhaps he is inviting her to join them.
Sometimes we need to put aside some of the difficulties of a biblical text so that we can more easily extract truths that apply to us today. If we can hear the affirmations of Mary without hearing Martha being put down, perhaps we can also hear the challenge to listen – really listen – to Jesus. When have you found yourself drawn to listen – deep in your heart – to the word of God? When you do, how are you challenged to let it change you, and use it to change the world around you?
This week we are beginning our Alpha course here at the Church on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm for the next 12 weeks. Would you like to refresh your Learning, Doing, Being by committing to the new community that will be formed through this journey of Alpha? Please let me know if you want to share this opportunity with me, by phoning Nikki (0400 209 020) or me on 0409 261 337 or leave a message on the Church Office phone 5597 2429.
May you make time to sit at the feet of Jesus … this week….Rev. Brad Foote