Sermons

Summary: At first glance this Gospel reading is very uninspiring; and read over it quickly, but there is much more to this story than meets the eye; its message, the social skills and the tantrums hide some secrets that lay hidden. Read on and enjoy …

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Amos 8:1-12 Psalm 52 Colossians 1:15-28 Luke 10:38-42

Summary: At first glance this Gospel reading is very uninspiring; and read over it quickly, but there is much more to this story than meets the eye; its message, the social skills and the tantrums hide some secrets that lay hidden. Read on and enjoy …

This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 21st July 2013: by Gordon McCulloch (A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Please join me in my prayer: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you O Lord. Amen.

Our Gospel reading this morning comes from Luke chapter 10 verses 38 to 42: “As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

Introduction:

I do not know about you, but at first glance, I found today’s Gospel reading pretty uninspiring; and we would like to pass on quickly to the next passage, to find something more tangible and useful.

But there is more to this story than meets the eye; as its message, is the exact opposite of what we first think; but rather than delving into the heavier Colossians for some good solid Gospel teaching as I did last week; I thought, as I was on holiday, I would lighten the message, and research this strange passage to see what secrets lay hidden; and yes there are hidden secrets.

Ok, so let us first try and visualise the scene; a scene where Jesus and his disciples descend into Martha’s house, albeit on her behest. That is, 13 of them, and maybe more; and they were all weary from their travels; in need of refreshment. Now I would think that 13 strange men would be a lot to look after in anybodies household, but Martha, the kind host that she is, welcomes them and tends to there needs.

Now Martha has a sister Mary, who could not care less about their needs; she was so engrossed with Jesus that she sat at his feet, and listened to ever word he said.

So you can understand why Martha was suddenly upset, she was probably up to high doh with all this excitement, and so she needed help. Naturally she asked, or hinted to her sister Mary for help; but Mary ignored her and so in desperation, Martha then asked Jesus for a wee bit of support, to prod Mary in her direction.

But to her surprise, Jesus rebuked Martha, not Mary, saying that Mary was doing the correct thing by listening him; and she should chill out.

Do you see what I mean, this is quite a confusing message; I am on Martha’s side here and I can easily understand Martha taking a right strop here and saying “O, so it is all my fault, you wanted fed and washed, then dae it yirsel”, and then walk out in the huff. Oh dear, where do we begin?


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