• Ancient church spent Advent preparing converts for baptism – lot of prayer and fasting.
  • We are constrained in ways by the pandemic – an opportunity to focus our attention on our prayer lives, the wellspring of our community.

Martha & Mary

  • 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
  • Who’s the hero in verse 1?
    • Martha, she does something really good. Opens her home to Jesus. Maybe Jesus doesn’t even come without her!
  • We hear that Martha has a sister named Mary.
    • Luke wasn’t just saying where Mary was (sitting on the loveseat…). Sitting at a teacher’s feet is what students do. Mary is hungry to learn from Jesus. This is countercultural, because women weren’t usually allowed to be disciples. But Jesus elevates women. He says, I have time for her.
  • So far, everything is great. But… Martha gets distracted. Literally “drawn away”
    • Have to believe she wanted to hear Jesus, after all, she opened her home to him, but felt constrained to make Jesus a really nice meal. Maybe the culture has something to do with it.
  • “Few things are needed” – I’ll be happy with a simpler meal. 
  • “Indeed only one thing is needed” – I’ll be really happy if you come sit with me.
    • Simplify your life to make room for sitting at Jesus’ feet. This will not be taken away from you.
    • Man doesn’t live by bread alone, but every words that comes from God’s mouth.

For Us

  • Sometimes we can lose sight of how good it is to sit at Jesus’ feet.
    • I was struck this morning by how good and patient a listener that God is. 
      • What a good friend. He has time for us.
    • And when he speaks, just one word fills us. 
      • With just one word, we can be baptized in the Spirit all over again.
    • Lord, we pray for more hunger. Hunger to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn.
      • We pray for grace to simplify our lives to make space for the one thing that’s most important. That’s even more important than our service to God.
  • There’s something about the cross-pollination of our prayer lives, influencing and encouraging one another.
    • I bet that after a while, Martha learned something from Mary – “I should have sat with her”. And maybe Mary said, “next time I’ll help more”
    • Your prayer life doesn’t just affect you. 
      • It ripples out to your family, your small group, your community.
        • Mary’s “prayer life” is still rippling out to inspire us!
    • There have been so many times when I’ve been inspired by what God is doing in your prayer life.