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NOTE FROM PASTOR JR FOR SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 – Covenant Community Church, Birmingham Alabama


This Sunday is The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The assigned gospel text is yet another very familiar passage from Luke. It’s the story of two sisters that were dear friend s of Jesus, Mary and Martha.

Jesus enters their home and Martha welcomes Him hospitably. Mary also welcomes Him by sitting at His feet soaking up His words as living water. Mary’s actions create a tension between these sisters as Martha is upset that Mary is not helping with the chores needed to demonstrate of physical hospitality she is trying to provide.

Preachers have often used this story to create a win-lose scenario between these two sisters. What if we reimagine this story to be a win-win situation between them despite the tension? What if Mary and Martha presented two different forms of hospitality?

Martha’s hospitality was very much in line with the cultural norms of the day. What if the source of tension between them is that Mary is demonstrating hospitality toward Jesus in a different way, by listening and absorbing Jesus’ teaching as living water for her soul? Mary’s form of hospitality is completely unhelpful in Martha’s plan for hospitality; thus, the source of the tension between them. Yet, both forms of hospitality are valid and equally important & perhaps why this event is included in scripture.

Both forms of hospitality were “celebrating the love of God” by “cultivating their relationship with Jesus.” I think it important to note that Jesus in telling Martha that Mary has chosen the better way doesn’t diminish the hospitality she is providing because the Good News is that Jesus is always with us, whether we are busy like Martha or attentive like Mary.

Join us for worship this Sunday as I conclude my annual sermon series on Covenant’s Vision and Mission. I will use the story of Mary and Martha to preach on “The Urgency of the Mission – Part 2: ‘Celebrating God’s Love & Cultivating a Relationship with God” based on Luke 10:38-42.

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