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

~ Luke 10:41-42

 

 

 

Thank God for all the joys of summer: twinkling fireflies, juicy slices of watermelon, majestic summer storms.  I am so grateful for a change of pace, longer evenings and a less structured calendar.  As I said in a sermon a few weeks ago - we are all Marthas!  We all get too busy, too distracted over worldly, secondary issues.  We all get worried and upset about "many things".  In our over-programmed, stressed-out world of "to-do lists" and endless errands it's easy to get lost in the maze of frantic, anxious activity.  But Jesus gently chides us just as he did Martha and encourages us to slow down - to breathe - to open our eyes, our ears and our minds to His life-giving words and peace-giving presence.

 

Technology now allows us to be "plugged in" to news, email and social media 24/7.  I found myself sitting in bed late one all poised to check email on my phone when I thought - "Is this really the setting in which I want to get consumed with work or other issues that needs attention?"  So I resisted the urge to check my messages, turned out my light and went to sleep.  It turned out to be a much needed, peaceful night of sleep.

 

I heard an interview with a researcher  a while back who said that our incessant need to check texts, emails, facebook, instagram, etc. is basically a desire to see "Who wants me?"  There is a deep-seated, God-given, human desire for connection.  That longing for connection with others is ultimately designed to point us toward God.  Unfortunately, that journey toward God's Divine presence gets derailed and we attempt to fill the "God-shaped hole" with a "human shaped" solution.  But people make lousy gods.  And when we try to put demands on others which only God can fulfill we create nothing but frustration and disappointment.

 

Jesus does want us to connect with each other - after all loving each other is the second part of the great commandment.  But first things need to come first.  And the first part of the great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).  When we have our personal relationship with God as our foundation then we will not need to frantically control our surroundings or manipulate others into meeting our need for that deeper sense of connection.  We will be able to love others more selflessly and out of a position of inner peace and divinely derived strength.

 

Don't be a "Martha"!  Don't give in to the urge toward anxious activity.  Be like our sister Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus this summer during quieter moments of contemplation.  Allow Jesus to speak His words of life over you and give you His peace.

 

Peace in Him,

Alan 

 

 


 

October 23, 2017

October at Royal Oak: 

 

Wednesday Dinners

5:45 - 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall 

Wednesday Bible Studies, Prayer Meeting, Youth & Children's Programs

6:15 p.m. Middle School Youth

6:30 p.m. Bible Studies, Prayer Meeting, Children's Program

7:35 p.m. Senior High Youth

Prayer & Fasting leading up to the Renewal

each Friday in October, noon - 1 p.m. in the Conference Room 

Operation Christmas Child Packing Party

Sunday, October 29th

9:45 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall 

Weekend for Renewal

Friday, November 3 - Sunday, November 5 

 

 

 

 

 



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