as Jesus and His disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named martha opened her home to Him. she had a sister called mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said.
but Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. she came to Him and asked, Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? tell her to help me!
martha, martha, the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things,
but only one thing is needed. mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
mary and martha were two very blessed women, both had insights and graces given to them by God and in this passage we see two vital and critical attitudes that are key to life, for without them we have none.
martha opened her home to Him
we have to open our spiritual homes to Christ just like martha did, and just like many a true Christian has done since. what does it mean to open our spiritual home, it means we must each of us invite the Lord to dwell within our lives, making His home in our hearts. the good Lord will spend every second of every minute of every hour of every day gently and carefully knocking on the door of our hearts, patiently waiting and hoping for the moment when we have to ability and grace to open just a tiny piece of this heart and let Him in.
this my friends is not just a once in a lifetime event, even though the Lord may spend our entire lifetime waiting and hoping for us to do so. we should invite Him daily into our lives, invite Him into the very recesses that we dare not expose to anyone, let alone ourselves. invite Jesus in and let His love and mercy dwell within, carefully and slowly melting the stone there created over time by the deceipt of society into the love and beauty only Christ can bring into our lives
mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said
once we have accepted the Lord into our lives, making His home in our hearts, what then is that have we finished in life. no we are merely beginning. so how do we move forward, how do we continue this life. we have to like mary do two things. we need to place ourselves at the Lords feet and we need to listen to Him. how do we do these things, we listen when we read His word, when we openly and humbly read the Bible letting the wonders and works of love there contained speak directly to us, showing us the way forward, showing us the life decreed for us, talking not only in words on paper, but living words guiding our very soul
when we pray, when we dialogue in truth we place ourselves firmly in the company of Christ. we know He is our Lord and Saviour, and at the same time He is our very best of friends. when we come to the Lord in humility with a contrite and open heart, what are we doing but placing ourselves under His love and mercy, placing ourselves at His feet. allowing Him to strengthen and protect us, shield and enrich us, comfort and console. we are nothing, and Jesus is everything, He wants nothing more than to fill our lives, let us then sit with Him and let Him in daily prayer and in daily reading of His life giving word, give us all the very means in which to live.
only one thing is needed. mary has chosen what is better
only one thing is better, only one thing is best, correct and truth. this is the daily prayer, the daily time spent solely in the presence of our Lord, waiting on Him, trusting in Him, loving Him, listening to Him, reading and learning from His words. allowing all these things and more, gracefully letting all that He can and does bring to us to flood into our lives, changing us, making us whole, making us real, converting our lives from death to real true life
martha answered, "i know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. he who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. do you believe this?" "yes, Lord," she told him, "i believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
these words stated by martha are words we will echo in our own lives when we spend this true time, this quailty time with our Lord. we can and we shall never die, for if Christ is within us, if Christ is accepted and loved by us, who can take away these things He has promised, no one. the evil one quakes at the mere mention of His name, when He is really and truthfully present within us, when we have and are living His life, then we are truly alive. resurrected in this life, born again in His love, living and loving examples of what life can be truly like, walking this earth for Him, helping any and all placed in front of us, so that they too may just a little open the hearts to the love and life that is Jesus. so that one day, be it death or be it rapture we shall all reside in perfect peace and harmony in the kingdom promised us, forever dwelling in the house of the Lord
is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelteró when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
when we accept Christ into our lives, when we walk and talk with Him daily, living and loving with Him, can we keep this to ourselves, or do we share this with the world. if you are happy do you not smile and see people smile back, when you laugh do people not share in your joy? so it is with the life that Christ brings. we are not called and given life to hide within it, no, we are called to share this life, to help those around us. we are asked, to help the hungry and feed them, we are asked to clothe the naked and to give water to the thirsty. in truth when the love of Christ is in us, when the Spirit is burning within us we cannot stop but natural share this life and this love, we can do nothing apart from let the Lord work within.
"then the King will say to those on His right, 'come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. for I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.'
again we are called to help feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to welcome strangers, to clothe the naked, to care for the sick and to visit prisoners. yes my friends we are all called to do this, this is our lives, this is our roles, this is the way the good Lord knows that we can and will be truly alive for Him.
yet, it is not just the food of the world, and clothes from a store that we need to bring. we are called to live and to love, to give and not to ask for a receipt. for when we truly live a life of faith only in the love of Christ we then live a life of simple and gentle evangelism.
we will see the hungry and we will love them, feeding them on the word of God that is the food for all our lives
we will see the thirsty and we will give them the living water to drink that is Jesus, who will flow through our very being into the lives of all we meet
we will see the stranger and we will invite them into the body of love that is the body of Christ. so that the body may become stronger and live more greatly in His love
we will see the un clothed and will will clothe them in the shield that is faith, faith in God who will protect us from the works of deception that society and the evil one would perpetrate
we will see the sick and we will care for them. we will bring the healing that only God can bring into their lives, curing them form the wounds that bear them down, curing them from the sickness that society has indoctrinated into them, for Christ can and does heal us all, as He forgives us all
we will see the prisoners and we will visit them, we will bring the love of Christ to them and they will be set free, set from from hatred, bitterness, anger, pornography, envy etc, for Christ can and will wash away all their past and all their present failings and bring them to His blessed heart of love
how do we do all of this, in truth we do not, we simply do this by allowing Christ to do this. by spending the time with Him, by inviting Him in daily, then His love will flow into our lives, we will not be able to keep this love, we will naturally and at times unknowingly allow this love to flood outwards and impact the lives of those around us. we are His hands and His feet, we are here today to serve and to love, we need today to make ourselves available for this commission, to step forward and allow God to work in our lives and to let God to work through our lives so that all who can hear will hear and that all who can see will see.
i pray tonight that we all take this life offered to us, this life begged of us, and we take it into our daily lives and let Christ become a beacon in us, so that His love may reach those we see, those we meet, all people.
may the Lord bless you all and may His love be always the centre of your lives, as you walk the walk for Him and as He works through you bringing more and more people into His peace, His love, His mercy