“Knowing the Difference”

Some parts of life are temporary. Some are eternal. Wisdom knows the difference. If we want to have any kind of meaningful relationship with God; if we want to have a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of being able to discern God’s presence and will for our lives, as with any relationship; if we want to hear God’s voice, and experience God in our lives, we need to make time for God. Some of us are like Martha, and others are like Mary. The church has its share of both. It needs both. But in everyone—in every church—is the need to combine the two. Without doing, our faith is nothing. As the apostle James wrote in his letter: “Faith without works is dead,” and that is indeed true. But it’s as pastor Graham Hutchings once said, “There is a need to occasionally get the visionaries in the kitchen, and the kitchenaries in the vision.” Illustration on the right is by Jorge Cocco Santangelo

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:15-29—The Supremacy of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a minister of this gospel.

24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25 I became its minister according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil and strive with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:38-42—Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village where a woman named  Martha welcomed him. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at Jesus’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 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.”  41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, 42 but few things are needed, indeed only one. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”