Monday, August 17, 2009

Up close and personal

God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? Hebrews 13:6 MSG

Over the years, my pastors have often preached on Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary of Bethany. Their subjects were on prioritizing spiritual matters over the physical, stress management, asking if you were a Mary or a Martha, and other sermon topics. I like to think about the relationship Jesus had with the family.

In a culture where women were property, Martha surprisingly owned the home. Her siblings Lazarus and Mary, and uncle Simon depended on Martha for their home. She must have been quite the “Proverbs 31” woman! Between Martha’s family and servants, Jesus, at least twelve male and an unknown number of female disciples, and the obligatory community invitees, Martha must have managed food, hygiene, and lodging for more than 30 people any time Jesus came by! And she wouldn’t have “opened her home” to Him unless the love and honor were heartfelt.

Perhaps when Mary had anointed Jesus’ head and washed His travel-weary feet before the meal, she got lost in His message or His adventure stories of recent travels, and abandoned her basin and cloth to sit at Jesus’ feet. She could look up into His eyes, drink in the animation of His face and hands, and feel herself enveloped in warmth, unconditional acceptance, and the completion of everything missing in her life. Why would you remember to prepare supper when the Bread of Life and the Living Water were satisfying every need? So when Martha asked for help, Jesus reminded her that being in close proximity to Him was the treasure.

That’s where we want to be—at Jesus’ feet. When it comes to career or house and garden, it’s OK to be a Martha. But remember that though home or livelihood may be taken away, our relationship with Jesus cannot. He freely gives us the gift of His love and salvation, and He will never withhold His love. Be relaxed and content with what you have: a friendship with Jesus.

Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? Hebrews 13:5, 6 MSG

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