Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/21/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Berryton UMC
Topeka District
Atchison UMC
Topeka District
Auburn, KS UMC
Topeka: Grace UMC
Topeka District
Bern: Ebenezer UMC
Oneida UMC
Seneca UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 10:38-42 

While Jesus and his disciples were traveling, Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his message. By contrast, Martha was preoccupied with getting everything ready for their meal. So Martha came to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to prepare the table all by myself? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.”

Today's Devotional

Lots of commentators and preachers (myself included, on occasion) jump to Martha’s defense: “She was tending to the needs of Jesus and his disciples.” Well, somebody had to do the serving and after all Luke tells us that it was Martha herself who invited Jesus over. And it is true that to be a good host or hostess food had to be cooked and served and the dishes cleared. And it is also true that Mary transgressed the bounds of appropriate behavior by joining the men in their repartee. We water down the astounding pronouncement that Jesus makes that Mary not only is welcome in this setting but that she was the wiser one because she sat at his feet to learn and be shaped by his teaching.

We all get caught up in the busyness of the stuff we aren’t supposed to do: worship on Sundays, pay the utility bills and mission shares, or any number of important tasks that gobble up all available time. But it seems that we live in a potent time when listening to Jesus is not only the better part but the essential part. While we plan VBS or the next Bible study the number of children separated from their parents on our border grows and grows. Crops and people are literally drowning. Good people are being vilified because of the color of their skin or their accent.

Liturgically, we are in the middle of “Ordinary Time.” It is so called because each Sunday is given an ordinal number, but I wonder if our sense of “ordinary” comes from this too. But Jesus came to make time extraordinary, not busyness as usual but building-the-Kingdom-of-God time. I really feel that we need to let the dishes sit in the sink and get out into this hurting world and find where Jesus continues to teach.
--Rev. Doyle Burbank-Williams
New Visions United Methodist Church, Lincoln

Prayer for Reflection

O Christ, Lover of the Orphans and Widows, snap us out of our devotion to the things than need to be done and teach us to learn who are the ones you need us to love. Amen.


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