As a child, I heard adults say on many occasions that time seems to fly by faster as one ages. Honestly, I never knew the reality of that statement until becoming an adult. It does seem each year passes by at a faster clip. Here we sit on the eve of 2016 and I’m just now used to writing ‘2015’ on my personal checks. Maybe the days speed by in a blur because of our hectic schedules and varied obligations. We run here, race there, barely finding time to breathe. Careers monopolize much of our time with the other waking hours spent shuttling kids to basketball games, theater practice, or church activities. Seldom do we simply pause and consider the most important things of life.
There’s a story found in the Gospels addressing the importance of this ‘pause.’ Mary and Martha find themselves in the position of hosting Jesus and the Disciples. Martha immediately concerns herself with preparing a meal for thirteen men. I can see Martha rummaging through the cupboards, pulling ingredients, cooking utensils and slipping on an apron. As she organizes her thoughts, she realizes her sister hasn’t joined her in the kitchen. I see her peeking into the living room, hoping to lock eyes with Mary. When Mary ignores her sister’s laser like glare, I see Martha banging pots together and clearing her throat in an abnormally loud manner. When all efforts to draw Mary’s attention fail, she takes her complaint to the Master.
“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Martha assumes Jesus will side with her, sending Mary to help shoulder the work of meal preparation. I see Martha crossing her arms with a smirk as she readies for Jesus gentle reprimand of her slacking sister. However, Jesus responds in a manner completely unexpected.
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
What had Mary chosen? To sit at the feet of Jesus.
The chore of fixing a meal distracted Martha from sitting at the Teacher’s feet. In two thousand years, not much has changed. We live in a society full of distractions. News agencies seldom focus on the real issues, magnifying minor stories to protect their political ideologies. For those unwilling to investigate for themselves, the journalistic “sleight of hand” keeps the masses uninformed. This strategy bodes well for ideologues weaving webs of destruction to topple American Exceptionalism. But there’s even a greater problem. Christians. Yes, Christians.
For years, followers of Christ have chosen to sit quietly on the sidelines watching America’s harrowing ride to “hell in a hand basket.” Christians remained silent when one loud and overbearing atheist complained about prayer in schools. When Roe versus Wade was argued at the Supreme Court, Christians largely held their tongues disbelieving a refined society would be allowed to legally destroy the life of an unwanted child. And now, decades later, when Christians voice concerns, their views are largely ignored or dismissed as being intolerant. And why? Because only a small percentage of Christians choose to speak up. Many Christians continue to believe a polite society avoids religious and political topics. Based upon the current political and ideological climate of our Country, maybe that old philosophy needs to be tossed aside.
If we truly care about the future of our children and grandchildren we must take those truths we learn at the feet of Jesus and implement them in the world around us. Remember, Jesus informed His disciples to
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the thing that our God’s.”
This holds true provided Caesar’s edicts steer clear of conflicting with the Law of God. When the Government enacts laws failing to honor Biblical truths, we must stand firm on the Word of God. We must remove the self-imposed muzzle from our mouths and make our voices heard. That’s my intent as we embark upon another new year.
As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.