Weekly Reflection • 21 June

Weekly Reflections

Good morning. How have your past week been? I trust that you have been keeping well and happy with who you are in the Lord. Let us now have a moment of silence and reflect back on the past week and thank God for his love, grace, patience, forgiveness and protection. We also thank God for the lessons we learn from Him this week.

Prayer of the Week

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen.

Our Bible reading today is taken from Luke 10:38-42.

Bible Reading

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


Being Before Doing

Mary and Martha, in our reading just now, were the sisters of Lazarus, the man Jesus raised from the dead. The three siblings were also close friends of Jesus Christ. They lived in a town called Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem. One day while Jesus and his disciples stopped to visit in their home, here the story unfolded. 

Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening intently to his words. Meanwhile, Martha was distracted, working frantically to prepare and serve the meal for her guests.

Frustrated, Martha scolded Jesus, asking him whether he cared that her sister had left her to fix the meal alone. She told Jesus to order Mary to help her with the preparations.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

For centuries people who read this passage have puzzled over Jesus’ words to Martha. Why would Jesus rebuke Martha but praise Mary? This is especially puzzling because in Jesus’ culture, food is paramount in providing hospitality. The name and honour of the host’s family depends on the refreshment served. This means that Martha is doing an absolutely crucial job but Mary just sit there listening to Jesus instead of helping.

Today we live in a world which focuses and put importance in the tangible product over intangible values. We look for the resulting quantity while ignoring the quality of character. We are engrossed over what we can physically quantify rather than the of values of principles.

This may be one of the main reasons why so many are frustrated, feeling useless, undervalued, non-productive, under pressure and even depressed in restrictions imposed during this pandemic.

Activities are constrained.  Movements are controlled. Freedom is curbed. The undertakings once taken for granted is now not possible. The fabrication of our labour can no longer be sustained. There is very little to show others. The outward shell of the what we manufacture has now been taken away. What is left is who we really are – our being, our real self.

The trouble is that our being has so long been ignored and neglected that there is little to show. Our lives’ values have been placed on what we do rather than who we are that we are now a stranger to self. To some, the scariest question is one that we ask ourselves when we look into the mirror and ask “Who am I?”

Here now is the point of Luke 10. At the end of the day, what is most important is not what we produce but who we are. Our being has priority over our doing, Our self-worth, self-esteem and life’s values comes from who we are, not what we do. For us Christians, it is based on who we are in God, not what we can do for God. God is my gracious Father and Almighty creator. He only asked of one thing from us – that we love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind so that I can love our neighbours as ourselves.[1]

That is why Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Consider this seriously, in life, are you more a Martha or are you a Mary?

Take care your being. It takes precedent over your doing.

The Morning Collect

We beseech Thee, O God, the God of truth, that what we know not of the things we ought to know, thou will teach us; that what we know, thou will keep us therein. In what we are mistaken, thou will correct us; and that from all that is false, and all knowledge that would be hurtful, thou will evermore defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[2]

The Blessing

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.[3]

As always, it is such a joy to share this short time together with you. I would be delighted if you can let me know how you are coming along in these uncertain and difficult times. Till we meet again next week, have Christ’s peace, rejoice always, do good. Love outrageously. Enjoy life. Praise God. Amen. Goodbye.

[1] Luke 10:27

[2] After St. Fulgentius

[3] Ephesians 3:20-21.