the 6th sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
Eternal God, you draw near to us in Christ, and you make yourself our guest. Amid the cares of our lives, make us attentive to your presence, that we may treasure your word above all else, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
the DEVOTION. . .
Think about Martin Luther and two things, usually, come to mind. Bible and believing. But there’s another thing we’ve inherited from the good doctor. One we don’t hear about, all that often. A principle called ‘Law and Gospel.’ Basically, he says, there are two ways of looking at life. The Law says everything’s up to us. Living is in our own two hands. Rewarded? Punished? It’s our choice, our decision. Gospel, on the other hand, sees life as gift, given out of the goodness of god’s own heart. Law versus Gospel! Moses versus Jesus! Sinai versus Golgotha! Commandment versus Promise! Stone tablets versus Cross!
Well, this week, we’re told a story about two sisters. One distracted by her many tasks; the other sitting at Jesus’ feet. And I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t that ‘Law and Gospel’ thing, all over again! One working; the other believing! One doing; the other being! One sidetracked; the other centered, focused. It’s more than, just, a matter one sister not helping out with the chores. It’s about what that “better part” really, truly is!
Bob Barndt, pastor