Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's always you, you, you!

Today's Gospel reading in the Common Lectionary is the story about Martha and Mary -- you might be familiar with it; Martha's ticked off that Mary won't help her with the household chores and serving the dinner guests. Notice how Jesus gently rebukes Martha ... but also notice too that Martha still misses the point.

The point: Martha wanted someone to serve her. Me, myself, I. And that we need in turn to serve God; which unfortunately is what many televanglists also believe (meaning serve the preachers by paying up and shutting up). It's really the other way around: God came as a human being to serve us. And we need to pay attention to his service and learn from the example God has set for us.

Are we going to trip along the way in his service? Of course we are. But if we just focus on us -- that is, we each believe "I'm entitled to my entitlements," then we're certainly going to get that although it's not what we believe we're entitled to.

Compare that to the example of Abraham who was still struggling to make meet -- and served his guests without even questioning why he had to do that. His reward: His long barren wife Sarah became pregnant.

Wonder what Martha got as her "reward"? Or what today's "me first" politicians and preachers will get in the end? Let's face it, we're all more like Martha than we are Mary.

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