Sunday, August 12, 2007

Have You Ever Forgotten God? (Part 6)

You remember the story. It is found in Luke 10.

Jesus has come to the home of Martha, who, at the time of the narrative is busily looking after the needs of her guests. All the while, though, her sister, Mary, is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to his teaching. Martha becomes angry: "She came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'" (v. 40).

An understanding of the culture of the day is in order. There were probably many guests in Martha's home on that day. The men would have been gathered together, conversing, listening to Jesus, whil ethe woman would have been about the business of preparing, serving, and cleaning. You see, Mary, according to custom, is out of place! Martha's displeasure with her is sister, according to custom, is warranted.

How did Jesus respond? He criticizes Martha, and not Mary. He says, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the bteer part, which will not be taken away from her" (vv. 41-42).

Wasn't Martha doing waht was expected of her? . . . and what was needing to be done? Why is Jesus critical?

Jesus is highlighting a tendency we all have at times: the busyness of our lives sometimes takes us away from devotion to God. Have you forgotten God at a time when you were overwhelmed by schedules, obligations, and expectations that your focus was drawn away from him to the mundane?

I remember a time when I had grown distant from God. I was 18 years old and a freshman in college. All my life, I had gone to church . . . there was never an option in my parent's house not to go. But, as a freshman in college, I moved out of my parent's house and moved 400 miles away to attend Oklahoma Christian College.

I was not prepared for the new freedom I had found. My relationship with God was merely a borrowed thing . . . passed down from my parents to me and not personally developed.

To make a long story short, I forgot God during that semester away from home. I drifted away from God and in a matter of weeks found myself at the bottom of a pit. It took my about 18 months to dig myself out of the pit. Actually, God, in his mercy, lifted me out.