Please note: This text is automatically produced. Errors may be present.
Good morning friends. How you doing today? My name’s Alex, I’m one of the pastors here. If you’re visiting, if you’re watching online, it’s great to have you here, I don’t know what has happened to this beautiful state that I move to, but this weather has become ridiculous, my English blood is boiling with inside of me, and I would love just as you can come to me. Find me after the service. If you have a house that faces West, what do you do to keep it cool, because we sat there last night and I’m a little bit of a stick of a turn in the air conditioning, and I like how you can open a window, so we open some windows, and it just got hot to an hour and attend, so finally, when it got to about 87 degrees in the house, I said, Fine, we can turn the air conditioning on, and it did nothing whatsoever, I just stayed the same.
So apparent, I got some trick to living here that you guys are all keeping to yourself, I would love to know what it is, just bring me in, I need to be included into this…So come grab me after the service. We’re in a series called Build a bigger table. We’re asking questions about hospitality, we’re asking questions about what it is to have people within our homes to build community, recognizing that the early church started this way, it started with people who are willing to open their homes for almost anyone, anyone. And we’ve been following Jesus through this book. Luke, if you’re new to church. If you’re new to the Bible, Luke is a biography of Jesus’s life. It’s one of four of them. Each of them have slightly different nuances. And Luke is fascinating, we’re gonna jump in with his story, and then we’ll talk about that a little bit more, so we’re just gonna open the text and see what God has for us, will read it together, and we’ll pray if you would like to turn to it in a paper Bible or on your phone or on an iPad, then we will be in Luke Chapter 10. We’re gonna start in verse 38, as Jesus and His disciples run their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him, she had a sister, court Mary, who saved 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 as Lord, don’t you care my sister has left me to do the work by myself, the… To help me.
Math and math of the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but a few things are needed, or indeed only one, Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from half. Let’s pray together, friends.
God, I pray that you would speak to us. Would you take this passage that is in different ways familiar, but maybe with a hidden challenge lurking under it, would you use it as you do so often, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable? Would you use it to help us more… Walk more fully in the way of your Son, Jesus and with his heart. And we ask this in His name, Amen. Okay, so on the surface, maybe some of you are familiar with the story, and I would say for years, this is my general understanding of the story that we’re talking about now, I would have said that I would generally understand the story in this way, this story is about the value of contemplation versus activity.
It’s about the value of contemplation versus activity. We’re told that Jesus says, very well done. You say, rested, you spent time with me, Martha, too busy. Too much service going on. You need to take a break from things.
Maybe you can quickly identify whether you have a math or a Mary type of personality, you might say… Yeah, I like to keep going. You might say, I like to sit and to rest, I had a professor, a seminary, a New Testament professor, who moved from India, very active sort of guy on one time he looked at me and he said, Alex said, my wife does the praying in our house. I have to be doing things, I can’t just sit around doing quiet times and things like that, and maybe you find that difficult, maybe the idea of in one language sitting at Jesus feet and learning from him… You would say that that is a challenge for me. I find it hard to build that rhythm, maybe you find it very easy, maybe to… Service comes very easy. Do you like to be practically doing things to help people, and for many years, we might have taken this story, this what’s called a pericarp and said, This is what is happening here. Jesus is saying, No, you as a people, you need to spend more time with me in relationship and less time doing things in the world around us, which again is that…
It’s a great lesson. If you find it hard to find a rhythm of spending time with Jesus, spending time reflecting, contemplating, I would say do that, that would be a wonderful change in your life if you learn nothing else from today. Take that away. Find a way to make that work for you. Maybe you’re a morning person and you love to get up early in the morning, which apparently is everybody in America, ’cause I keep getting breakfast requests for 6 o’clock in the morning
To wake… Hung, you add in shame to meet… Breakfast is like an 8 to 10 sort of thing, with the emphasis on 10, and I don’t like to be up that early, so maybe you love to get up early and that’s your rhythm, maybe you love to stay up late and you can contemplate those times, but find a rhythm and spend time asking God that you might know is present, if you’re not sure that he’s there asking to make himself not you… That is a great thing to take away. But I would ask question, is that what this passage is about? Yes, it’s an out-working that we could take, but I would suggest it’s not on the surface, what is central to this passage, this passage in its centrality is about hospitality, this passage is about hospitality.
Now we already know from just what we’ve learned so far, far that Luke has Jesus very interested in the act of eating and that we may well say Amen to… That’s a wonderful thing to see Jesus doing. You could even push this argument in Luke, Jesus is always going to a meal at a meal or leaving a meal, he is constantly around people and he’s constantly eating with them, he is constantly with people that it’s unexpected for him to be eating with… He sits and eat with tax collectors and sinners, in Luke Chapter 7, we’re told, the Son of Man came eating and drinking. And you say, here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors. And soon as Jesus was always around a table and he pulled in, as we’ve learned already over the last few weeks, pulled in people that wouldn’t usually get to sit at tables with religious leaders, there
Was something about this activity of sitting, eating that in first century language. It was like an endorsement of somebody, it said, You’re okay, you’re welcome in common good society, and Jesus sat with people to whom that was probably never said. And then more specifically in this sort of area that we’re in now, Luke chapter 10, this is how the whole chapter starts off, after this, the Lord appointed 72 of us, remember a couple of weeks ago, we talked about, he sent out 12 disciples and they started to do the things that Jesus was doing. Now he expands it, and he takes 72 of them and says, Go into all the villages that we’re about to go to, you’re gonna start the ball rolling for me to every place, every town where he was about to go, and then this is his advice to them.
When you enter a house, first say piece to this house, if someone who promotes pieces there, your peace will rest on them, if not, it will return to you, stay there eating and drinking whatever they give you. For the worker deserves his wages, do not move about from house to house, Jesus says to them, this is what I hope happens to you, go out into all these towns and find someone who’s willing to let you stay
And then almost take advantage of them. Allow that person to keep feeding you, you are part of what God is doing in the world, you are worth the higher worth the care, he tells them not to spread out the opportunity to give hospitality, to stay with the person who shows Himself to be willing and keep eating it, keep drinking what they give you, keep staying with that person. Keep building that relationship. Maybe there is this sending out that Jesus has for his 72 followers, he says, Go and experience hospitality, go and experience good and healthy hospitality. And then in between this and the passage, we’re about to read as the passage, the famous story about the Good Samaritan, again, about hospitality, the
Samaritan, the man is walking from Jericho to Jerusalem and only the Samaritan will care for him. We’ll tend to him, will provide for his needs, and that’s when we come to this story, right after that famous parable, as Jesus and these disciples were in that way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. So we read a story about 72 disciples who are on their way, people open their door to them, we read a passage about a man who was on his way, he is abused by someone who is robbed, beaten up, and someone cares through… And then we come to a story where Jesus and his followers themselves, they are on their way together.
And I love the way that they follow the disciples, they kind of just disappear from this story, it starts off, it’s Jesus and his disciples, and then it’s HIMSS him and Martha and Mary, they kind of just disappear from you and everything becomes centrally located around how they offer hospitality to Jesus himself, and yet the story is about hospitality in general, it’s about how Jesus would love hospitality to be shown to His followers and to him himself this story at its heart is about hospitality and about how you treat someone, so I’d love to start us with a question just to get you thinking about the story we’re about to read, have you ever fallen out with somebody while hosting a social gathering? Specifically, if you’re married or you share a house with somebody, you’re in a house share situation, have you done some co-hosting and had an argument, free people turning up or even during the time that people are there, and it’s just been awkward. You have this sense of, we’re gonna get into this afterwards, you and I are gonna… Saw some things that will keep smiling because there’s people in the house, the people present, we’ve gotta show like good social TIA, but inside you are…
You are boiling with rage at the other person, the right of the speaker, or the max Ocado tells a story about early in his marriage inviting a very significant professor to stay with them because he was in town, and as the man was coming over, he said, My wife gave me some cue, she gave me a verbal cue that said, We need to tie in the house, this guy is coming to stay, and then she gave me a physical cue when she got down on her knees and started scrubbing toilet bowls and cleaning floors and he said, I was never wanted to take the simple tasks.
Those things seem too mundane, so I decided to do something special, something that my wife would have value in, so during the afternoon as we were expecting this guy to arrive, I grabbed the box of photos from our wedding and began to cut the photos up to make a collage of our wedding day that we could display on the wall, and that would be this delightful token of love for my wife, is probably some poor guy that’s sort of sat here thinking, What did you do wrong. What was that a problem? Is that a misstep? He didn’t do anything practical to prepare, he just simply said, Oh, I’ll do something ridiculous, maybe this picture for some of you triggers some kind of trauma of some kind. There is this idea that sometimes when we’re hosting people, one person does all of the work and the other person sits around playing games on their phone, relaxing on the sofa or is nowhere to be seen, and it can be frustrating, disheartening, all of those different things. And sometimes people come over and lurking under the surface is, You know, I come alone in this…
I feel like I’m not getting all the support I need, and sometimes when the guitar explodes everywhere, this is somewhat what is going on in this story here, and we’re gonna try and look at the story from both their perspectives, but that’s a bit of an introduction. Let’s go back to the start, as Jesus and His disciples were on their way. He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened a house to him, she had a sister called Mary, so these characters come in and out of different… Of the biographies of Jesus life in different ways. We’ll see that they come into John’s Gospel, this is John Chapter 12, their brother Lazarus is mentioned here, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus lived, Jesus had raised from the dead here and dinner was given in his honor, Marauder. Lazarus was there reclining at the table with him. In this version, we read, Mary took a pint of pure nor an expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus feet and white his feet with her hair, and
The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. What we see in this family is these are a family that are deeply committed to Jesus, both Mary and Mar, and make some incredible statement, whether they’re verbal or physical, that reflect that they know something is happening in Jesus that is significant. Mara will say, Jesus, you are the resurrection and the life. She speaks about Jesus as doing something significant in the world, Mary will take part you and pour it over his feet to anointing for his dad, they are both deeply committed, deeply immersed in what Jesus is doing, and
Yet they were approached to it, as we’ll see, is incredibly different, and maybe controversially, Jesus is gonna come down very much on one side of the management in a way that for some of us, depending on our personality, it might cause us a little bit of tension, we might feel some unfairness in the story. So let’s start off with Martha’s story. Imagine for yourself that you live in a small town and hosting in this culture is very important, hospitality is important, and then you have this incredible opportunity, you have invited Jesus of Nazareth to and eat with you. This is a significant social moment, everybody is talking about Jesus.
He’s begun to travel around, he’s teaching is unlike anything anybody has heard before, His miracles are spectacular, people are starting to talk about Him as the Savior of Israel. It is an incredible moment, and you have invited him in and begin to prepare a feast to welcome him, to show him just how valuable he is.
And then in the midst of all of that preparation, the one person that you thought you could rely on to be supportive to help you in this journey. Suddenly is missing in action. The one person that you thought would participate, the one person that you thought would be on your side, suddenly you see a sitting… Just listening to what Jesus is saying. Your sister seems like she’s engaged in a active sabotage, this social moment, this meal should be talked about all over town, it should be this moment of joy, this moment of celebration, and now everything is falling apart because you… You’re doing this single-handed, sure, you’ve got the servants to help, you’re sending them out on errands to grab oil to help with the cooking, but the whole of the weight of it now is falling on you.
And you expected this one person who would stand up for you who be supportive, to be there for you in this time, and she’s gone, she’s missing, and even worse, she seems that she’s acting against you, she’s sabotaging the whole of the dinner were told that Martha opened her home to Jesus, this is this language piece that significantly puts her in a place that is usually occupied by a man at Upper rating as a patron, this word, this Greek word called PO dome, which is this idea of taking someone under your personal care.
It has this position of support sustaining. She’s taken Jesus in and she is giving him this place of Refuge, he could have offered this to anybody, this is a privilege, this is an incredible social status thing that’s happening here.
And we know from at a story that she deeply passionate about Jesus and His mission, and yet, the social piece can’t be missed, this is hugely significant. And in the midst of this, she is distracted by all of the preparations, she has so much to do and have to Jesus is Jesus come down on my side, tell Mary that she has a role to play here as well, I can’t carry this burden alone when we read the story from Martha’s perspective, it seems totally fair. Why should she have to do everything, why should she carry the burden… Isn’t service something that Jesus values? Isn’t this an important role to play, and yet Mary is just sitting there just listening.
We expect her… Maybe she makes this plea for Jesus to stand up for it and yet let’s think about the story and twist it from Maris perspective. Jesus has come to town. You have never heard anybody who teaches like this. And one thing that stands out about Jesus is this… Yes, the miracles are important. Yes, that the teaching is incredible, but what is different about Jesus, he seems on the side of those who find themselves on the margins, who find themselves diluted from what God has been doing, and here’s the truth, as a woman in the first century, you are excluded from what God is doing.
You’ve watched for years as these Rabbis have wandered around, gathering followers, and there’s one thing that they have in common, every single one of them is male, and you just wonder what would it look like, what would it be like not to… Sure. To sit and to listen.
What it feel like to be a disciple, to be invited into Jesus teaching into his conversation, and so you sit on the floor with the men and you begin to listen, and just in that moment, have been invited into that place for one person that you thought would be supportive to one person that you would think would be on your side is standing up, pointing you out and saying, You don’t belong their marry, you need to get on with serving, you need to get back to the kitchen. You don’t belong. We’re told that Mary sits at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said, This language piece is distinct, it is this idea of becoming a disciple in this moment, Mary is included with the followers of Jesus, she is their learning, she is there taking a place that no woman was ever invited into something very significant is happening, and her sister is the one that he’s pointing around saying, You don’t belong there. Mary, I wanted to give you a picture of what this might look like in modern times, and this was the example that came to mind, This is Rosa Parks in her famous bus processed protested.
She sat in a seat where black women were told that they weren’t allowed to sit, people told her to move to the back of the bus, and she said, No, I’m staying here. I imagine in that moment, in that moment of protest, if another black woman had come to her and said, Rose, this seat isn’t for you… You
Need to come back with me. Let’s go back to the back of the bus. This is where you belong. Come sit back here. This isn’t your place in the first century context of Jewish life, this is exactly what’s going on here. Mary is taking a place as a disciple and another woman is coming alongside and saying, Mary, you don’t belong here.
You can’t sit at Jesus feet, you can’t learn from him directly, go back to the kitchen, you get to serve, you get to play a role, but it’s not this role, both of the women are actually offering hospitality of a kind, Mary’s hospitality is rooted in relationship, she is interested in being with Jesus, in listening to him and learning from him, Marais interest, it is serving him. There is nothing wrong with both of those things, but Jesus is gonna speak into this in a very particular way, Mary offers hospitality rooted in relationship. She is entirely focused on Jesus and what he has to say. She intuitively, perhaps understand what Jesus wants of her in that moment, He wants to sit at his feet, he wants to invite it into this possibility of being a disciple, he wants her to learn from him, and this part of the passage, this really gets to the tension between the two, Marsh 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, maybe depending on our personalities, we feel a sympathy with each of the sisters.
Mary once relationship, Martha offers hospitality that is rooted in service. Now, what’s fascinating about this is all through Luke, as loris as he rates, as he records what Jesus said, says over and over again, You values service. He think service is wonderful, almost 100% of the time. This is a passage from Chapter Four, where we’re told that Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now, Simon’s mothering law was suffering from a high fever and they asked Jesus to help her, so we bent over a rebuke the fever and I left her, she got up at once and began to wait on them, same word, this idea of service. Deacon, this is where we get the word deacon. If you’re a church person, you know that we talk about deacons, of the people that are outside shoveling snow in the middle of winter, to the people that are caring for the building, it’s a role that the New Testament values to an incredible degree. Service in Luke is a wonderful thing. And in this mullet, when Simon’s mother-in-law gets up and begins to wait on them, the message of the neater is good for her.
That’s a wonderful thing. Service and Leadership in Luger often tied together. When we talk about leaders in chapter 22, Luke will say, Jesus will say, servants a leaders and leaders are servants. I, your leader, your master, I have served you. Almost 100% of the time in Luke, service is valued. And wonderful. Except in this passage.
Except in this passage, in this passage, Martha’s focused on service, and Jesus will say, Wait a second. You’re distracted matter. The service is the thing that has caught your attention, this has become maybe the idol… This has become the thing that you’re focused on. That isn’t where I want your attention. We might say that Martha serves at Jesus. Mary serves with him. Mary somehow intuitively understand what Jesus wants and how he wants to be served in that moment, and what he wants is not performance, what he wants is for it to sit and listen to what he has to say.
This whole idea of just how we do hospitality, I think is central to the passage, Luke is very interested in the how and not just the who of service. It doesn’t just want to say that hospitality is important, he wants to say there is a particular way to do this that makes a person feel valued, it’s not a task to be done, it’s a relationship to be lived in. And it made me think about some of the language that I heard growing up. This is an English parable that I’m gonna give you. An English man’s home is his car. An English man’s home is his care, so we’re gonna push this conversation from looking at Mary and how she is hospitality, looking at Maran, how sheet is hospitality, to asking some questions about us and how we might be called to do this, we might learn from the passage and Englishman home is his car.
So historically, my family, apparently, I’m told has a car all… I think I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll probably mention it regularly through you, back in the 11th century, we own reboot was a significant thing, but it’s gone now, so I brought in another car or for you to see one that I built myself with my kids and they got to show it off at their school, and I just felt like I didn’t get my show and tell opportunity, and really, when we do these things, what are we doing? But living vicariously through our kids, so I built this Casso, and it’s fascinating, and I think there’s so much that went into it, I love how it reveals some of the differences between my kids, maybe some of the Mary and Martha is of my kids, because Alana helped glue all of these little windows in place and she helped cut up the brick walls and wrap them around, and GG built a sea turtle that… That was her main contribution to what the cataloged like, which again, just says something particular about them.
But think about what you’re doing when you’re structuring a castle, everything about a castle is about these things, it’s about security. It’s about control. You get to decide who comes in and who goes out. You get to decide what the rules are in your car, so when I built this up apart, this is a mountain, by the way, in case it wasn’t clear, I’m just gonna run you through the different things, these are trees, and there’s this idea that it’s built up and it’s secure and it’s distant, and it can’t be a sale. The idea of an English man’s home is his castle. Is rooted in, I get to decide where the lines are. This is my safe space. This is where I am free to make all of the decisions, and
Yet, is that how we’re called to use our homes… There’s this other quote and a play on this, but someone came up with… If you’re a follower of Jesus, this is a challenge for you. A Christian’s home is God’s Hospital. As a follower of Jesus, your home is God’s Hospital. Another word, hospital could sound a little bit patronizing if you would say you’re not following Jesus, you like, What do you mean? I’m broken, I’m sick, I need to come to your hospital to be fixed, to be mended. In actual fact, the word hospital, it comes from a Latin word called Latin word hospital. It’s this place where when you go to a monastery, all of the monasteries that you might hear about, they had this rule that they had to offer hospitality to strangers, and they would have a building that was a sign for this… That building, the hospital, it was always the nicest place in the monastery grounds, it
Always had the best food you could possibly provide, the monks might be eating bread and water, but those staying in the hospital would be given the finest fair that was available. They would be cared for, they would be looked after to the… Absolutely agree. This was a space where you could come and you could find welcome, you could be… Now, I would suggest that often, we have operated our homes based on a car or principle about controlling who comes in and who comes out, and yet it seems like the pushes to use our homes in the way that a hospital was used in order to let people in, you could make an argument that the thing that drove Christianity or made Christianity spread like wildfire in the first, second and third century, was simply the Christians understood hospitality, and almost nobody else did, so almost every other culture hospitality was centered around people that were like… You and people that you knew, and if you were a Christian, hospitality was sent it around whether needed it… This is a quote from Rosario, but a field in a book called The Gospel comes with a house key radically.
Ordinary hospitality is this using your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangest neighbors and neighbors family of God. It’s this invitation and we seek to have control, we seek to have control over how and who comes in, and yet the challenges that we’re not supposed to try and control it. I would suggest most of us, if we’re honest, become very careful about the image that we curate, we’re very careful about what we let people see as a question to sort of work through is I would say, how many people do you know that are allowed in your house, with no preparation whatsoever. With
No preparation whatsoever, we have some neighbors that we’ve become close friends with, and the other day we text them and we’re just talking about where after England, they said they could give us a lift to the airport, and as being the people that are… Are these wonderful people? They just came over to discuss it, they just wandered across the street, and this was Saturday morning, and the first thing they were welcomed by was Jude, and I was say Jude was not wearing any clothes, in actual fact, it would be fair to say that the judge wasn’t wearing a… Any clothes. He was just there in all of his Judas, and so that was their welcome as they walk through the door, and this almost decision moment, maybe an unspoken husband-wife conversation of, do we keep the door open or do we just lock it and just say, Sorry, we’re not open to have guests right now, and they wandered into us in all of our Saturday morning, unprepared us and all my son Saturday morning naked, and it was a joy to have them there, but we curate these images, we say We have these lines that are drawn and most people aren’t welcome in…
We treat our hospitality or we center a hospitality around the image of a castle, not the image that says, you are welcome here. Martha seems to have similar problems. She is so focused on all of the details, and this is one of these passages where however we feel about it, whether we like it or not, Jesus is going to come down… Determinate-ly decidedly on one side of the argument. He is gonna say, quite always, brutally, Mary, You are wrong, and Mary is right. I think about the number of times I try and several arguments from my kids, I wanna give them the sense most of the time that they’re both right. In different ways, I wanna hold that tension, I wanna speak good things over both, and Jesus in this moment is like, No, Martha, you’ve got this wrong. There is something you need to learn. Her marry has figured it out and you haven’t… Yes, there’s the being with Jesus, but remember, Jesus here is really talking about how hospitality should be for all of His followers, but everybody… It’s not just located in doing this for Jesus, it is for whoever needs it, hospitality became this vibrant Christian tradition and Jesus understanding of hospitality, it seems like it prefers the person over the performance.
It seems like it prefers the person over the performance, and we… By nature, can be performance people, we want everything to be just perfect, we want to curate the image, how many times have you sat in somebody’s house and they’ve been busy making things good for you, and you’ve had this tension of… I appreciate it, but I would love it if you would just sit and talk to me. I would love it if we could just have a conversation. I feel like we are missing some of this because you are so busy, for
Those of you that are parents, it’s a tension that we manage as our kids run around causing chaos as we’re trying to have a conversation, we’re trying to create that good image, trying to keep our kids in line.
There’s this wonderful little anecdote about the difference between French parenting versus British or American parenting, and at one point, an American woman talks about her experience in France, and she said, My kids were running around this playground acting like crazy people, and I would chase them down and I would run after them, and after a while, my French friend looked at me and said, You know, if you keep getting up and chasing your kids, how are we gonna enjoy our conversation together, there was this different sort of focus on it and we are so interested in curating what the world sees that we miss this invite into relationships, Martha has the same problem, she wants all of the details fixed, and Jesus says It’s not necessary. Few things are needed, and then he almost like to start with… He almost seems like he’s gonna give us this get out, he starts with the, you’re worried about many things. And there’s only a few things you need to worry about. And at that moment, the passage feels like it’s gonna give the get out of saying, Yeah, even Jesus is saying that there’s a few things that need to be done, there’s a level of service that has to be provided, even Jesus wants some quality of performance and then he’s like, Actually, no, just one.
Just win and Mary has picked it for one thing was to pay attention to your guest was sat in the room… That was the one thing that he was looking for. This thing, Jesus understanding of hospitality, it prefers the person over the performance and this tradition of Christian hospitality was what made the early church vibrant. This is Jesus follower Peter writing to people all over the word, cheerfully, share your home with those who need a meal or place to stay, it’s almost just this case, carefully share it. Find a space for people who need a meal, find a place to welcome people in, this is just how central it became, this idea of hospitality centered around knowing the people that come through the door and allowing yourself to be known, I would suggest most of us somewhere inside us internally, we have a deep longing to be known.
Now, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you may see different levels to which I can tolerate being around people, I need a break at times, and yet somewhere introvert or extra extra VEL, we love… We know, and that is why someone knowing our name the second or third time they meet us is such a high value actually say, Wow, you remembered me. When I was a youth pastor, I would have regularly parents come and say, Do you know we picked this church because you knew your kids names.
They would sometimes say, we gave them… We gave them a choice, we said which church that we’ve tried, do you prefer and where did you feel known, and these parents would say things like… Well, they said, Well, yeah, Alex knows me, he remembers me when I come through the door, there was something about being known that has this incredibly high value occasionally around America, there are these newspapers that have survived when newspapers shouldn’t… I’m not talking about USA Today or the New York Times, I’m talking about small local papers in tiny towns… This is one of them, this is the Carman con. It’s the local newspaper for came on the sea in California, apparently when Clint Eastwood was the mayor of carbonaceous, to use this all the time. As he’s like his pulpit, why? Because local people read it
And why did they read it? They read it because these local newspapers that survived, they used as many local names as possible, you could read through this paper and not only might you see your name, but you would see the names of people you knew, the
Editor of another newspaper that done daily record said this, I could publish the telephone directory in tomorrow’s addition, and people would read it to check that their name was there
When they made the moves of the Lord of the Rings, they did the big extended version with a special box set. And one of the things that was distinct about it was at the end there was 12 minutes of footage where they just cycled through every single name of The Lord of the Rings fan club, and you can go on the internet and find numerous accounts of people screen shutting their name and putting it on social media, because they checked to see if they were now.
There is something about being known that is central to who we are as human beings, we long to be known, and yet I would suggest our hospitality has trended towards serving at… And not knowing the person, this story is about hospitality, but not just about hospitality, it’s about how you show hospitality.
It’s about how you show hospitality, if I was to say that you could change self as a community by one simple action, most of you would say, I would love to do that. And I would say that junior, due to lots of other things, and one of the things that we struggle with that we miss is relational connection, there are so many people in our community that don’t feel now, and you… By thinking about one person, you could buy it into your table, one couple, one single person, one family, you could help change the community by that one simple action, just by allowing someone to be now… This process, this way of thinking is something that some of our outreach team, especially our food pantry people have thought about with the idea of redemptive compassion, there’s some different values, and I’m gonna show you the first three, the first value is number one, everyone has value.
Number two, we are called to invest relationally in each other, number three, everyone has a capacity and potential, this is this way of doing outreach and mission, so often the western church does that act people and not alongside people, and this process is, how can we do that for a relationship, how can we actually give people that sense that they… Unknown that a are valued. Hospitality in Jesus mind seems to be centered around knowing the person and not just serving at this story at it’s heart. It’s about hospitality. It starts off with how Jesus has shown hospitality, but central to it is how he longs every one of his followers to be shown hospitality, he has sent 72 out of them out into the world, and he longs for them to be received. This is a challenge to trust, how do we show hospitality to those around us, so have a challenge for you. I’m gonna invite the worship team start to make their way up on stage, I have a challenge for you and a piece of liturgy, I’m gonna invite you into the challenge is this one person or family to invite to your table to build a relational connection itself.
It might be someone that you say, we used to do church stuff all together, we used to connect all the time, and it’s been a while, man, covid has really rocked us in that respect, pick one person, one family, pick someone that maybe won’t get invited in by someone else, you could help change the culture of our community, just… I’ve been willing to invite people in, for some of you, you’ve got that tension already… I haven’t done this since covid started. It’s okay, invite them onto your deck, invite them onto your porch, invite them to a park, but find a way to invite somebody into your community to relationship, prefer the person over the performance for further passing over the performance. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to get everything right. You do have to value the person because we long long to be known.
So I’m gonna invite you to stand and we’re gonna pray a Prat together, we haven’t prayed together yet during the surface, we’ve prayed individually in this moment, I’m gonna you to pray as a community.
And we’re gonna say this out loud, hospitable, God, you invite us to a banquet where the last maybe first and the humble and the mighty trade places where all have a seat, let us share your abundance with the family of God and fear no scarcity. Let us greet strangers as angels you have sent… Let us notice the person above the performance, send your Spirit now so that we may find a place at your table and welcome others with radical hospitality. We pray in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. And these guys prepared to play, allow that challenge to sink in, allow God to speak to you.
Maybe you begin to ask Him who and how you should invite someone in, if you write down a name in your notes page. Start to ask him what next steps you might be challenged to me. And before these guys thing, I’d love to invite us back to our opening understanding of his passage. Yes.
This passage is about hospitality, and yet both Mary and Martha understand that Jesus is doing something very significant, they show hospitality to all these disciples, and yet Jesus becomes their focal point. I would love to take this passage and invite you into a relationship with Jesus, maybe you’re not walking with Him right now, you wouldn’t say you are a follower of Jesus, you trying to figure out, is there even a God… What is this big existential question that lurks in my heart. And whether you’re at home or whether you’re here, Jesus invites you in. Invites you to sit at this table, invites you… In whatever ways you are broken to sit at his feet to become his follower.
Mary and Martha both have this inkling that the story is going somewhere towards death, and then there’s the surprising news of resurrection that Jesus is alive again, watch as he walks through a meal, to a Crucifixion, resurrection. And then back to another meal, you’re invited to sit at this team, you are loved by the God of the universe, He has made a place for you, Jesus, death and resurrection were an AFF.
And so you were in your own high… In this moment, I can pray to him maybe for the first time and say, God, I would love forgiveness, I would love to be made whole, I would love to know that you’re would love to be empowered to fully… It’s a great… For her to start off a journey with Jesus, and we’d love to help you on that journey. If you wanna let us know that you read it.
Maybe this song as we sing will reflect some of your foes, it’s an invitation to run to the God of the universe with all of your brokenness, not to fix yourself, but to know that He loves you, and longs to be in your life. If God is working in your life, Eric InStar, join us and reaching others by partnering with us today, you can give online at solves dot org, hit or on the south Fellowship Church a. Thanks for this new South family. Have a great rest of your day.