Thought for the Day – 9th September 2020
Facing the truth – Luke 10: 38-42
“As they 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.’”
I wonder what our reaction would be if we heard Jesus say to us “Come with me into the desert, it is not your deeds I want; I want your prayer and love.”?
Most of us are busy doing things, what would happen to our work if we weren’t there? And doesn’t Jesus show the importance of practical caring for others in the verse from Matthew chapter 25 ……. “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”?
I don’t think for a minute that what we do isn’t important, and I don’t believe the Lord does either. Our work isn’t being discounted, but sometimes we can tend to hide behind what we do. We put up our work as a smoke-screen to hide the threadbare reality of what we are underneath. We hide from ourselves, we’d rather not know, and we use our work too, to shield us from the God we profess to love. In other words, we fill our lives with activity to avoid facing what God really wants of us…… Does that ring any bells…..?
In John 21, Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me Peter? Do you love me?” Questions that were as painful as a knife wound cutting deep, Jesus forced Peter to face what he really was, not what he would have liked to be. The Lord wanted Peter’s love, not just his protestations or his work, and Peter needed to see that there was no substitute.
It can hurt to strip way the activities and face what is left, and yet we need to do it. We need, sometimes, to ‘disengage’ and make sure our personalities rest on Jesus Christ, and not on work, however praiseworthy the work is. It’s quite possible that it is one of the reasons some people find retirement hard to take – without the work rôle there’s nothing left.
So when the Lord makes his assessment of us, I wonder how we’ll rate? Maybe we could be in for a few surprises!
Lord, when you ask if we love you, you know we do. Help us to make a quiet place, a space where we can meet with you at peace, where we can sit and wait and listen. We do not need to speak the words because in the joy that comes of being with you, you know we love you. Amen