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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 17th July,2016 Pentecost 9 Year C Honouring the Mary Moments in a Martha World

BULLETIN INSERT   Lismore Anglican Parish

Sunday 17th July 2016 – Pentecost 9C

Honouring the Mary Moments in a Martha World   Luke 10:38-42

Another well-known NT story from Luke, this week’s gospel passage challenges us in many ways. How do we hear it again with fresh ears? Luke took every opportunity to highlight and elevate the roles of women in his gospel, and this week’s passage is another shining example.

That a woman is portrayed in such a positive light – as one worthy of sitting at the Master’s feet as a student – is profoundly significant in the context of first century Middle Eastern culture where women were often not considered a priority for such instruction.

This passage shows that grace has no boundaries. Instruction in the ways of the Lord must be open to all. Clearly, Jesus treated women with respect as disciples of equal standing with the men in his team.

It is also a key discipleship text in highlighting the trap of judging others whose ways differ from our own, and with whom we may disagree.

Mary revealed a hunger for instruction and wisdom in seeking time with Jesus. In contrast, Martha seems consumed with her subjective assessment that her particular chosen duties, whilst arguably important, were more important than her sister’s.

We are reminded how a busy or undisciplined life can quickly crowd out vital time with our Lord – prayer and reflection become casualties. Healthy discipleship requires a balance between service and study with reflection. Service at the expense of reflection can become self-serving. Jesus shows us that there is a time to do – and a time to be.

 

There is a right time for everything. [Ecclesiastes 3:1 TLB]

 

Amos 8:1-12 [NRSV] The Basket of Fruit

1 This is what the Lord God showed me—a basket of summer fruit. 2He said, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A basket of summer fruit.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass them by. 3The songs of the temple shall become wailings on that day,’ says the Lord God; ‘the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place. Be silent!’ 4 Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, 5saying, ‘When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the Sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practise deceit with false balances, 6buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.’ 7The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. 8Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who lives in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt? 9On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight. 10I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day. 11The time is surely coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.

 

Luke 10:38-42 [NRSV]  

38Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40But 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.” 41But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”