Sermons

Summary: An advent journey looking at what we need to let go of in order to draw closer to God

Letting Go - Distractions

December 8, 2019

Act like I am texting . . .

OH . . . sorry about that. I got a text from a friend about the Bears game. Then we got caught up in other talking about baseball.

That made me think about summer - and I need some new shorts, so I was checking for Black Friday sales. Then I realized Black Friday was over, but thought I needed to check my bank account to see if I had the money, but then I thought about retirement, and started looking at retirement destinations . . . and then Debbie texted me wondering what I was doing.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever gotten distracted?! What you started out doing - you know, you walk into a room to get something, you never get that something because something else catches your attention.

Well - - that’s kind of what we’re going to be looking at today. We’re taking an advent look at things we need to let go of. Last week we looked at STUFF. How can we let go of the stuff we think we need and then accumulate. Today, we’re looking at our distractions. The things that get in the way from serving and worshiping; from adoring, thanking and praising God.

Have you ever noticed that when it comes to my messages, it can be hard to focus? Does that happen? Really! Some of you are actually shaking your heads yes! But you must be talking about your neighbors.

It’s easy to let your mind wander, isn’t it? We think about what we’re going to eat. We get caught up on that cute baby 6 rows in front of us. We think about that outfit someone’s wearing. We think about the ball game or the week ahead. Sometimes we have to fight to just to focus. But it’s absolutely and completely worth the fight.

The word distraction comes from a Latin word, from the late 1500's. It means a pulling apart; separating; it’s a pulling of the mind in different directions.

I know it’s the Christmas season, and I’m supposed to talk about fun things, but and this is really important, and it’s a precursor to what we’re going to talk about on January 5, 2020. That’s my commercial to be here on the first Sunday of 2020.

This is something we don’t think about too often. We have an enemy and one of his weapons is the weapon of distraction. I really believe it. Every demonic force wants to pull apart, divide your mind, discourage your soul, disengage your faith, and distract you from what matters most.

If he can distract you, eventually, he’ll neutralize you or worse - - you’ll end up destroying yourself.

There’s a story in Luke 10 which is the only verse in the Bible which uses the word distraction. Luke tells us - -

38 Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.

40 But Martha was DISTRACTED with much serving. And she went up to him and said,

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

Mary and Martha are hosting a dinner party. Jesus is the guest of honor. Mary spent most of the time sitting at Jesus’ feet listening, while Martha was distracted by all of the preparation and serving of the meal. And I don’t blame Martha for being distracted.

If Jesus came to my house, I would be distracted trying to make sure everything was right. That the meal is perfect, the temperature is just right in the house, the lighting is good. Wouldn’t we be that way? We’d write it off as being a good host and servant, making sure everyone else is well taken care of.

Can’t you just imagine Martha fussing in the kitchen, yelling at Lazarus to get the dishes and silverware in the right places. Get the drinks right. Make sure the hot dishes are hot and the cold dishes are cold and the rolls are warm. She wants to be a great host. I don’t blame her. She’s distracted by all the preparations.

So Martha comes to Jesus and says, Lord, don’t you care that my lazy no good sister? She’s literally sitting on her sorry butt, doing nothing as usual. Mary’s oblivious to it all. She’s just sitting at the Lord’s feet enjoying while Martha is not enjoying.

Now, I also want to defend Martha. We need the Martha’s of the world. It’s because of the Martha’s that we eat meals, get our bills paid, that Christmas decorations are up and presents are wrapped.

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