Summary: The ONE THING we need is to feast on the Word of God
Feast or Famine?
As is my usual preaching or teaching style…
I want us to take a look at each of the passages
from our readings today in Amos, Colossians and Luke to
see the complete teaching. So here we go, let’s dig in!
In Amos they couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to be over so
they could go back to their real passion: making money!
Worship was just a habit, an empty ritual, because in their
hearts they were plotting how to profit in deceitful ways,
cheating their customers with short weights and measures.
So the Lord said since they had no “appetite” for hearing the
word of the Lord (or heeding it), he would take away the
provision of it. There would be a famine of hearing the word.
Today we have the Bible on our bookshelves, on our laptops
and on our Ipads and smart phones. But do we reach for it
as often as we download bestsellers or play our game apps?
There are churches on practically every corner, but crime
and hunger are also around every corner.
You see, we have the bread of life but we are not sharing it.
We feast while others starve for the hope that is in the
gospel. Would we really miss the Bible or church services if
they were suddenly or gradually taken away?
Now let’s skip over to the reading in Luke.
We are familiar with this passage. It is always a hotly
debated topic which stirs up much argument and discussion.
It seems to present Martha as the “suffering servant “ and
Mary as the “sitting saint.” But let’s investigate some other
possible lessons from this story.
These are examples of different temperaments and different
talents or gifts of the Spirit. One is not right and the other
wrong. God needs His Marys and His Marthas.
(His Johns as well as His Pauls if you will.)
But when Jesus stopped by their house that day it was going
to be His last trip.
He was on his way to Jerusalem to die!
He just wanted to talk it all over with his friends.
Martha was anxious (worried) about “many things”…
(the menu, the table setting, the cleanup, etc) but Jesus had
“many things” to tell her.
Many things fill up our agendas just like many dishes fill up
our stomachs. We can get lost in a flurry of good activity,
but what about filling our souls?
Martha welcomed Jesus as a significant guest in her home
but failed to let His words into her heart at the moment.
First Martha was distracted. She probably sat down a few
minutes to chat but her mind was on the roast in the oven
or making sure the bread didn’t burn. She decided dinner
was more important and excused herself from the teacher.
But rather than whistling while she worked she became
depressed, feeling as if she had to do everything by
Loss of focus caused her to resort to self-pity instead of
enjoying her chance to serve Jesus.
Martha’s work and worry are wasteful now because she has
lost the satisfaction in it.
She was operating out of a sense of duty rather than
devotion. It has become all about her!
Charles Hummel in his book “Freedom From the Tyranny of the Urgent” notes, “Tension and frustration mount when we are performing the wrong tasks or trying to cram too many of the right activities into a given period…. A critical spirit develops and we begin to judge and condemn others for what they do or don’t do.
Duty perceives devotion as shirking responsibility
Now she becomes disapproving of both Mary and Jesus!
“Lord why don’t you make her help me, don’t you care?”
Whoa! Our Martha has become the poster child for
“ the good the bad and the ugly”!
It was good that she welcomed Jesus into her home and
wanted to provide a special meal for Him.
It was bad that she lost the spirit of it and began fussing
And it was ugly that she wanted to sic Jesus on Mary for not
being a gifted hostess also.
Can’t you just see her getting madder by the minute, trying
to get Mary’s attention with hand gestures and eyes rolling?
She has a tea towel on her shoulder a smudge of flour on
her face and her hands on her hips in exasperation!
Now what did Jesus do?
Did he tell Mary to go help her sister?
Did he tell Martha to come join Mary? Well, sort of…
But mostly he pointed to their individual CHOICES.
He knew Martha was a gifted cook and hostess and if
she chose to be busy instead of being blessed by resting