NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2022
This Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. I will be continuing with Part 2 of my sermon series on Covenant’s Vision which is “To be an inclusive community of faith – Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness – Sharing Joy.”
When we look at scripture in a binary way where there are always winners and losers, we make false assumptions about familiar passages that are not in fact what the passage is trying to convey to us. We see that in the assigned gospel text for Sunday in Luke 10, of a visit by Jesus to sisters, Mary and Martha.
Martha works to prepare dinner, while Mary sits and listens to Jesus. Martha asks Jesus to rebuke her sister for not helping, but instead Jesus commends Mary. Regrettably, this story often suffers from dubious interpretations, with Martha becoming the poster child for all that is wrong with the life of busyness and distraction. But the brief story must be read against the backdrop of Luke’s Gospel as a whole, where the work of hospitality was a vital form of generosity in that part of the world, back then and still today. It was one of the chief signs signaling the presence of God’s Kingdom among the early Christians.
Mary and Martha are not enemies but sisters. Two sisters squabbling about household duties cannot reasonably be construed as a battle of incompatible modes of life. Martha’s generous service is not minimized by Jesus, but her worries show that her service needs to be grounded in Mary’s kind of love for Him. Together, the sisters embody the truth that generosity and love of God are intertwined realities of “Offering Hope and Showing Faithfulness.” Following Christ means becoming like Martha and Mary. Be generous and love God. These are mutually reinforcing, as is the two sisters’ relationship with each other.
So, join us in worship this Sunday in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream and we look closer at this assigned text in Part 2 of my sermon series, “The Vision is Still … Offering Hope & Showing Faithfulness” based on “Luke 10:38-42.”