July 20

Luke 10:38-40

“But 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.’” vs. 40

We all know the feeling! Martha had a million things to do in providing hospitality for her guests, and her sister wasn’t doing a thing to help. While Martha hustled about, likely preparing the food for an evening meal, Mary just sat and listened to Jesus talk. So Martha was fuming…and she wasn’t only angry at Mary, she had a bone to pick with Jesus too. In her eyes a grave injustice was taking place right in front of Jesus, and he hadn’t lifted a finger to make things right. Oh how quick we are to spot those little inequities…it starts in our childhood when a sibling gets more ice cream or we get stuck with more onerous chores…and it doesn’t stop there. Some of us have perpetual chips on our shoulders and we never miss a chance to complain when we think we’ve been treated unjustly, even in the most mundane affairs. Silly as it may seem those kinds of grievances have been hugely damaging in our congregations. What should have been a minor misunderstanding can turn nasty in a heartbeat and can even result in a long-lasting feud between brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s a moment pastors dread, especially when, like Jesus, they’re called to be referees. There’s plenty of real injustice in our world…it’s heartbreaking to get bogged down in pettiness…even when we think we’re right!

Thought for the Day: How have I been affected by petty feuds in a church?

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