In the first part of this post we discussed how divided the church is in the US and how if the Lord were leading our churches this would not be the case. We made the point that church tradition has crippled us internally.
But thanks be to Jesus and the gospel of Luke the solution to this problem is not complex, Jesus already walked others through this same problem and I believe it is found in a story from the town of Bethany.
Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted (that describes us) by all the preparations that had to be made (our divided ministries to God, believing we must serve him out of our own gifts and diligence). She came to him and asked “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
I believe that Martha represents 95+% of Christians today striving to serve, we are distracted by our own ministries, our duties devised in our minds of our chosen Christian leader as what Jesus would want us to do (WWJD), full of human energy, leadership, greatness and/or brilliance.
Notice how Martha was off alone not with Jesus or those gathered around him. Ministries not centered on Jesus separate and divide people.
Martha not only was distracted but she didn’t understand her Lord like Mary did, and she demanded that Mary be distracted with her!
The Lords response can and should guide us today, not only did he defend Mary but he taught Martha and all of us the one thing that is needful.
10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; 42 but one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
That one thing, that good part was exactly what Mary was doing, sitting at the feet of Jesus Christ, beholding him, getting to know him, learning of him, quietly listening to him. Despite tradition and frustrating distractions around her.
We can still do that today, we can sit at the feet of Jesus Christ today, he promised his presence as we gather around him (“in my name”). but to do this Jesus alone must be our motive for gathering.
- We don’t gather around our particular churches vision (flavor of ice cream).
- We don’t gather around our churches great sermons and superior leaders.
- We don’t gather around building great families or a great nation.
- We don’t gather around even the preaching of the gospel of salvation by Christ! (there will be time for that, what Mary and the disciples were doing was even greater and more pressing.)
In gathering around these things there is confusion, distraction, wandering, chaos, we don’t love one another (outside of natural friendships), when we gather for these things we end up dividing and butchering the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Instead we gather around Jesus Christ alone, and we see him and hear him through every one of us sharing Christ, seeking him throughout the week then bringing our spiritual gifts and sharing them with one another. We display him to one another through the Holy Spirit, we teach him, we seek him together and we supernaturally grow to love one another as we do this.
I periodically meet with a friend and we discuss the Lord, this my favorite ~2 hours of the week, there is nothing that can compare with gathering with others only for Jesus.
I have written much about this that I have not published, if you would like to hear more please enter your email address below!
Or if you are interested in joining a group already gathering around Jesus in the upstate NY area, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org