From Revd. Paul Rees

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

In Luke Chapter 10 is the story of Mary and Martha, you know the one. Martha is in the kitchen moaning and preparing food, her sister Mary is sat at the feet of Jesus, I’ve heard that sermon, and it usually finishes with the words ‘Don’t be a Martha’.

BUT like Martha, I haven’t had the time to write that sermon. Do you not know what I’ve got to do? How many hats I have to wear? My role as a Minister is crazy, I go from a funeral to a school assembly, then tonight is Church Council at one of the number of churches I’ve got pastoral care of…. You just don’t understand.

Ssssshhhhhhhh says the Lord (or at least he does to me) be like Martha…. But Lord? Sssshhhhhhh he says.

The issue with the Don’t be a Martha comment, is that it isn’t the end of the story. In John 11, Martha and Mary’s brother `Lazarus has died. As you can imagine there is a lot going on for the sisters. However, when Martha hears Jesus is near, she runs out to meet him and throws herself at his feet while her sister Mary stays at home. In this encounter Jesus redirects the conversation from death to resurrection, with those powerful words ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ Continuing he asks Martha ‘Do you believe this?’ Her reply is beautiful when she says ‘“I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” What happened? Why is her attitude so different?

John Wesley always prayed for an hour at the start of each day unless he had a busy day ahead of him, whereby he would spend two hours in prayer. He knew on that day he needed God more not less. The beginning of all wisdom is found in God not without him.

Increasingly busy churches, less people, spread thinner than ever, sound familiar? Now is the time to Be like Martha more than ever. Why? Because this Messiah, Jesus, the Son of God who has come into the world, is needed more by that same world. We are His Church in the world, we are the ones who are to be like Jesus. So, I say with confidence ‘Be like Martha’ and throw yourself at the feet of Jesus. My prayer is that Mr Wesleys Preachers bring the words and worship not of death but Resurrection life.