December 17, 2009

What Really Matters?

Luke 10:38-42

“Few things are needed—or indeed only one.”
Luke 10:42


A little old cleaning woman heard the message of Jesus and wanted to join her neighborhood church. The pastor, who thought she smelled terrible, told her to pray about it and come back next week. She did as the pastor asked and came back the following week. She remarked that the church was beautiful and she truly wanted to join. The pastor told her to pray about it some more and come back the following week. She agreed and was not seen for weeks.

Then one day in the marketplace the pastor saw the woman and asked how she was doing. She said she had talked to Jesus, and he told her not worry about joining that pastor’s church. The pastor wanted to know why. She said, “Jesus has been trying to get into your church for years!” Distracted by the woman’s outer life, the pastor had missed seeing Jesus. How does that happen?

Let’s not be too hard on Martha. She wanted to serve Jesus and the disciples with humble hospitality. But Martha was paying attention to the outer things of life and missed the Life that was right in front of her. Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying, did not want to be distracted by anything that would keep her from experiencing the Lord firsthand. She grabbed hold of the one needful thing: knowing Jesus for herself. How about you?

Jesus, I am so easily distracted. I need your help in sitting at your feet and listening to your words of life. Help me to know you and to see you in the people I meet. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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