Mary and Martha: Friends of Jesus

January 17, 2015

I don't enjoy the actual act of flying. I love getting places by flying, but the flying itself is best done with my eyes closed and my ears and mind occupied by some classical music. I like people, but on airplanes I am inclined to tell people I am a file clerk if asked. No one has ever asked me anything more about being a file clerk and I get my quiet time. Additionally, as a woman pastor, I am particularly not inclined to be held captive by the next-seat insistence that "I have stepped out of my place."

 

I love the story of John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) and his mother that relate to a fellow priest telling John that he needed to tell his mother to quit proclaiming the gospel as that was not her duty. So John asked his mother and she replied to the effect that she would if John would stand before God at her reckoning and take responsibility for her stopping her proclamation of God's saving acts in Jesus Christ. John withdrew his request.

 

I have learned (and continue to learn) the hard way that God's gifts to his people do not depend on humanity's understanding of roles - gender roles, class roles, ethnic roles, etc. -but rather on God's grace. And I have learned that one's reply to an insistance of roles does not necessarily reflect what one thinks or is able to do.

 

And I have learned the value of true friends, as Mary and Martha were to Jesus.

 

 

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