I am very thankful for Steve’s refreshing presentation of the story with the emphasis on ‘there must be another way’ or ‘a better way for right now’.
Since Sunday I’ve been thinking about the incredibly valuable contribution both the ‘Marys’ and the ‘Marthas’ bring to church life and relating this to where we are ‘right now’ as we consider the future ministry of the Currie Crescent Community Centre, the tangible expression of our church goals; to explore what it means to follow Jesus today, to build an inclusive, caring community-and to share God’s love and justice in our words and actions.
For many months last year we thought and prayed about our staffing needs. In other words, we sat at the feet of Jesus, just like Mary, listening to the voice of God. Then, we got busy like Martha and advertised and interviewed and employed Steve as our Community Leader (and Cecelia as Youth Leader as well).
In a similar fashion, at our May Church Meeting, some of the capable ‘Marthas’ of our church put forward plans to upgrade the toilets (and/or the kitchen and foyer) so our facilities can continue to serve both church and community – and to allow our ministries to grow in the future. And the response of the meeting (and the deacons’ meeting that followed) was the response of a Mary. “This is good, but we need to think and pray about this more. If we are moving in this direction the church must share the vision and the mission for what we are going to do.”
‘Having a shared vision and shared mission’ is the operative phrase there. We need the contributions of both the ‘Marys’ and the ‘Marthas’, we need those contributions to come together so we can work out a shared vision and a shared mission.
So, if the better way for us right now is to be ‘Marys’ – to think and pray – let’s be diligent in that! And when the time comes to be ‘Marthas’ – to step out in action – lets be diligent in that as well. And let’s do both these things together. Because we need the contribution each of us bring. We need the thinking and praying, and speaking and acting! We need to share the vision and share the mission of our church.
This Sunday we start a series on the book of Colossians which begins with a greeting to, “the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae”. According to my commentary, these two locative phrases, “in Christ” and “in Colossae”, sit, in Greek, either side of the central phrase, “saints and faithful brothers and sisters”. We are to think of ourselves as located in these two places. We are located ‘in Christ’ and we are located ‘in Colossae’ (or Canberra) this earthly community where we are called to service and witness.
It is another way of looking at being a community that is both Mary and Martha, that is both in Christ and in Canberra. It is how we are called to serve and where we are called to serve.
So, before this coming Sunday, 24 July, can I invite you to read Colossians, chapter 1. And if you would like to read ahead – please do!
31 July – Colossians 1:24-2:5.
7 August – Colossians 2:6-19
14 August – Colossians 3
21 August – Colossians 3 cont.
28 August – Colossians 4
Grace and peace,
PS Morning tea is on this Sunday and Charo is still looking for a helper or two! Please get in touch with her firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help!