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Summary: Martha was not a whiner, or unspiritual when she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help. She was worshiping Jesus in her worship language... service.

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Multi-lingual Worship

Luke 10:38-42

This past week, I was reading about a family. It is a family in the Bible… Mary, Martha and Lazarus. You remember they were the family Jesus stayed with whenever he came to Jerusalem.

As I was thinking about that family, I realized they were a great picture of the worship. They each symbolize a different aspect of worship.

For the next few weeks I want to look at each of them and see what they can teach us about worship.

Today, I want to start with Martha. You know… the “bad guy” of the group. For nearly two thousand years, poor Martha has been the villain in the story… the complainer, the whiner, the “unspiritual” one, the worldly one… in contrast to Mary… the spiritual one, the one who loved Jesus, the one who gave of herself.

Well, when I get to heaven, there are a few people I plan to look up.

#1… Jesus. And I plan to spend about the first 1000 years just looking into that precious face and kissing those nail scarred hands.

#2… Mama.

#3… Preacher Rivers.

#4… Gary Barlow.

I plan to look them us because I love them and want to see them.

Then, I need to find one other person… Martha. I want to find her because I owe her an apology. See… I am one of those preachers who are guilty of spoiling her reputation… telling lies about her. I have preached that same thing about her being “unspiritual and worldly.”

This week I saw a different side of Martha.

As I said, each of the siblings represents a different way of worshipping…

Mary represents worship through… GIVING

Lazarus represents worship through WITNESSSING

And Martha represents worship through SERVING

That is right… WORSHIP

For two thousand years now Mary has been the one who was praised for her worship while Martha was seen as distracted, unconcerned about worship, lost in the day-to-day.

But today, I tell you that Martha was WORSHIPPING Jesus that day just as much as Mary… or Lazarus… or the other disciples.

Martha was just speaking a different WORSHIP LANGUAGE.

Many of you are familiar with this book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Smalley. Those who are not… really need to be.

Smalley’s premise in this book is that there are basically five different love languages that people speak… five ways they say “I love you.” Every person speaks a mixture of these languages… but every person speaks primarily ONE.

The five love languages are …

1. Words of Affirmation…words that build up. A person that speaks this language is verbal, they use words… they are comfortable with saying… I appreciate you taking the garbage out, I love you, you are doing a good job with that model and Thanks for the delicious supper.

2. Quality Time.

a. A person who speaks this language NEEDS a lot of quality time with the person they love. It is how they Feel loved.

b. They also like to GIVE this kind of time… it is how they show love.

c. This person complains, ”You don’t spend any time with me.” Or says, “Come home early.” Or “Do you want to sit outside with me and watch the sun go down.”

d. This person wants undivided attention, you to look at them, talk about feelings not events and things.


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Raewyn Overton-Stuart

commented on Oct 27, 2006

Thanks Rick! As a 'Martha' I found this a wise and challenging sermon about my worship style. I've found the 5 love languages a great book and of course it makes sense that we have a worship language! Now I just need to get more of the "Be still and know that I am God" built in to my busyness.....

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