Last Sunday our family was leaving church without attending the coffee hour because it was already 11.30am. I was explaining our children that there were no lunch served just coffee and dessert this time. Our son responded saying “Right, they served the main course in the worship.” Pretty profound theology for a 5-year old!
This exchange came into my mind while reading the 10th chapter of Luke in the Message. The story of Martha, Mary & Jesus got a whole different angle to think about it.
As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42, MSG)
The time of Jesus teaching on earth was about to end and Jesus was soon to be crucified. It was more important to listen to Jesus and learn to know how to share the message of God’s kingdom. If we think the story this way it was Mary who was more practical than Martha! So often we stress about irrelevant things. So often we keep ourselves busy in the wrong things. So often we keep doing even the right thing the wrong way. We don’t take time to listen to Jesus, ask for guidance. Maybe it is indeed practical to pray often and study diligently the Word of God. Maybe it is indeed practical to get rid of everything that doesn’t point to Jesus. Maybe it is indeed practical to hold onto every living word of God. Because Jesus is the main course and only him is essential in life. And death. And beyond.
So don’t settle for anything less than Jesus. Don’t skip meals. Stick to Jesus. Don’t be satisfied with unessential things in life. Dessert or snacks don’t nourish you and you might get disinterested in the real food. That way you might be malnourished even if you don’t feel hungry. Only the bread of life, Jesus Christ, will keep your soul nourished and satisfies your hunger forever. Steady your diet. You become what you eat. Eat the Word of God. Savor Jesus. Because Jesus is the main course and only him is essential in life. And death. And beyond.
Help us to prioritize things in our lives right.
Help us to see what is essential and what is not.
Help us to sort out the impractical and irrelevant.
Teach us how to do your work your way.
Show us how to put our faith in practice.
Be our everything.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you have what is essential in life? How do you let go of the unessential things in your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you sort the unnecessary things out of your life! Get ready for Jesus!