Pastor’s Corner: Mary Time

January 27, 2021

I can’t quite stop thinking about Martha. Truthfully, I can’t quite stop thinking like Martha.

I’m not thinking with Martha’s commitment to hospitality and a warm welcome for her guests. Even though it’s usually her attentiveness to her work that gets criticized, I’m struck by the words Jesus said to her, words that had nothing to do with her labor. “You are worried and distracted by many things,” he told her. The Greek word rendered “distracted” might even suggest driven to distraction, as we’d say it in English. It’s not that she’s busy: it’s that she’s anxious.

Well, I’ve been pretty anxious, and I still feel pretty anxious.

Though we have seen unmistakable shifts toward better times in the last few months, I still find my heart in my mouth a lot. Vaccines still need to be administered. Unemployed people behind on their rent still need support. I was thinking this morning about how much mental health care people need after months of limited contact with one another, and how much more they will need as the months go on.

I keep thinking, with Martha, about how much needs to be done.

I also hear the voice of Jesus, gently insisting that there is a place at the feet of the Great Healer to listen and to learn and to be loved. If I let my anxiety go, if I listen and learn and soak in the love, I’ll be able to do the all-so-necessary work without the anxiety – and do it a lot better, too.

Where are you? Are you with Mary at Jesus’ feet, soaking it in? Have you already risen from that place and taken on holy tasks once more? Or are you with me and Martha, trying to “do it all” from our anxiety, and in desperate need of time with Jesus?

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The image is Le Christ chez Marthe et Marie (Christ at the Home of Martha and Mary) by Joos Goemare – Ludovic Péron et VIGNERON, Public Domain,

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , , | Posted on January 27, 2021

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