Summary: Finding our way in the worship of God.
Mary had her priorities right. Yes, she did know that Jesus would need served, but she got things in the right order. She spent time loving him, talking to him.
Friends, we need to spend time with God, alone, talking to him, telling him how much we love him. That might mean just talking, maybe even singing to him, but we need to spend that time. As Jesus said about Mary, the time spent in praising God is not wasted time, it is not laziness, it is what God expects and it will be beneficial to her life.
So, straight away, we are learning that worship is personal. It is something we can do alone with Jesus, it is about telling God we love him, and we can see that worshipping God is a priority, it is even more important that doing things FOR God.
That was Mary and Martha, lets look at our next example.
2. Luke 7:37-38 The Sinful Woman
Those of you who were here two weeks ago will recognise the woman in the passage, you will remember about how much she was forgiven. Now, I suppose you are wondering, what has she got to do with worship? Well we can learn something very important from her too.
When she was there with Jesus, there is one thing that stand out about the way she worshipped….it cost her a lot. Yes, it cost her financially, because she bought the jar and the oil, but more than that, it cost her herself.
She lowered herself didn’t she? She really made herself vulnerable in from of all those people. As we said a few weeks ago, she really did have a very deep love for Jesus, and it showed. It showed in every action.
You will remember me telling you that the word "worship", means "to kiss." Well, here we see in this woman, what it really means to worship. Friends, if you leave here every Sunday without having kissed Jesus, then you have wasted your time really. But, can I throw a word of warning in, you may remember that when Judas betrayed Jesus….how did he do it? By a kiss! The one Judas kissed on the cheek was that one that the Romans were to carry away. Our worship must be true and sincere, from the heart, if it is not that, then it is just as bad as the kiss that sent him to his death.
So, we can learn from the forgiven woman that worship is giving of our selves, laying our lives before God in praise and thankfulness for what he has done for us. The apostle Paul urges us to offer our bodies and lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship, Paul tells us. Only when we lay down our lives in worship to God, are we transformed into what he wants us to be. Why? Because God in his love and mercy gave his son for us, we should give ourselves to him.
We are really learning that worship is nothing to do with just singing songs on a Sunday aren’t we? Its about how we live our lives, it is our heart’s true home. But lets look at our final example from the Bible.
3. Acts 16:22-26: Paul and Silas in prison
Now, here is a powerful story which really shows us how important worship is, how powerful God is, and how worship changes us. Paul and Silas had been going about the business of telling people about Jesus, and as was common in those days, they got slung in jail. Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten, placed in stocks and left there in the cold prison inner cell. Now, you and I, maybe put in that situation, would have a good old cry to ourselves. We would be terrified even.