16 OT Year C 2016
For those of us who are not originally from Dayton Ohio I can tell you that it has a reputation. It is known for many things, the home of the Wright Brothers, Marions Pizza, the Dayton Vectren Air Show, but the one thing that probably sticks out about Dayton above all else is that it’s roads are constantly under construction. I am convinced that there have been orange barrels strand across I-75 since Kettering invented the electric starter. This is an issue because I don’t care who you are being stuck in traffic is the worst. Lodged bumper to bumper across hot black pavement moving at a stop and go speed of about 3 miles an hour is terrible. Everybody has places to go and people to see and to get caught in traffic is the biggest waste of time.
We as a people value productivity. We like to do, fix, go, take a picture, and then be on our way. We generally don’t like to wait, and have a hard time when our plans are changed without any warning. Now, just imagine yourself living with Christ. The guy is always on the move without a moment’s notice, He’s saying stuff—doing stuff that is either getting Him in trouble or that doesn’t make sense to anybody—at least right away—and then He’s going off to some mountain or quiet place to pray to His father and everybody has to just sit around until He’s finished. Everyday it’s something different and on some level to be in the company of Christ was probably pretty frustrating and maybe even on some occasions it felt like a waste of time—that is of course if you were with Him for some other reason—than well, just to be with him.
Mary got this. She understood that simply to sit at the feet of Jesus, just to listen to Him speak and be in his presence was THE best possible use of her time. Sure there were chores to be done, yeah, there were guests to be tended on but Mary didn’t want to miss a single moment with her Lord. I think if we’re honest with ourselves a lot of us hear Martha’s plea, we hear her cry out to Jesus asking him to tell her sister to help—to help her be a good host, be responsible and
take care of what she should—We’re kind of like you go Martha, way to stand up for yourself—and then we hear Jesus’ response which is basically, NAH, she’s good, why don’t you do it all—and we’re like REALLY Jesus, aren’t you GOD and this is all you have to say. And that’s exactly the point : Jesus is GOD: God walks in a room we’re like—is there enough coasters on the tables for peoples drinks, should I refill the guacamole? The Lord longs for us to pay attention to Him, to acknowledge His presence not simply as another warm body mingling about, but to give His BODY the BODY OF CHRIST our undo focus. This is why we genuflect as we come into our pew, why we kneel during consecration because Church we get it. God shows up right here on this altar, God lives right here in this tabernacle and our lives should be affected by that.
Just think if Lebron James, Taylor Swift, George Clooney or enter your Hollywood icon here—knocked on your door and came into your home just to see what pictures you have on your refrigerator, just to spend time with you, and yet we have the Alpha and the Omega, the King of Kings the Lord of lords here before us knocking on the door of our hearts and all HE desires is to be taken seriously, to be invited into our hearts, our lives so He can sit and listen to us. Here’s the reality: Jesus is our Mary from the gospel, waiting for us to stop being Martha so that He can waste time just being with us.
I challenge us this next week to start living your life differently, to start living like Mary by making prayer a priority in our day, not as something we only do at meals when nobody is going to criticize us for it, but as that time in our day to we actually look forward to—spending it for no other purpose than being before the Lord—not worrying about what we’re not getting done, but allowing ourselves the space to just rest in Him.
Developing a daily prayer life is huge step in becoming a disciple of the Lord. When we seek the Lord in prayer, as Mary did, suddenly wasted time becomes time well spent, our traffic jams become our moments of rest—to be still before our God making Him not one thing among many but the only thing that really matters.