I have to go to the convention and so I have to get a bunch of stuff done before I can even leave. I have been asked by people why I don’t take vacations? and the answer is it takes more work to go away than it does to just stay home. Why exhaust yourself to go off supposedly for some down time? Anyway I was trying to get a sermon ready and the Gospel for Sunday is the old familiar story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10.
I was reading some different preaching blogs and studies and for folks who like to get into the weeds think about the fact that Mary and Martha’s home could have been invaded by about 100 people. Remember Jesus sent the 72 out and now they are back and have a kind of debriefing and I’m sure that there were some hangers on who always showed up when there was a gathering and there was food. I had an uncle who drove my mother crazy because he just happened to “drop by” when she did a bunch of baking. She was a women of habit and baked at regular times but even when she changed her routine, disappeared on the day when she usually baked so that she would not be home when he showed up, he somehow figured out the new baking schedule. My mother would be beside herself and never learned how he knew. There were probably many folks like my uncle back in the day and Mary and Martha probably knew them all.
Tack onto that the Near Eastern cultural importance to hospitality that meant that visitors, even strangers had to be fed and watered. The culture there is extremely focused on that point. You could be killed for looking sideways at someone but if you showed up at the door at supper time you got to put on the feed bag.
Then throw in the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Mary was a slug and always tried to get out of work or that Martha was an obsessive compulsive shrew and there is plenty of fodder for a sermon.
“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and lend me a hand.!” Sounds whiny to me but…….. I have to pack and get ready to go and getting these worship things put together, sermons etc, is really getting on my nerves.