Friday, July 20, 2007

Pentecost +8 Sunday – C4

Pentecost +8 Sunday – C4

Years C
Luke 10:38-42

A fine example of family systems at work. Here Martha, past her usual coping skills, cries out, "Ma, Mary ain't helpin'!"

The response reported by Jesus could have been more helpful with a bit more specificity, but at least he didn't play all of the triangling game here.

We've been able to put all manner of content into his "one needful thing" phrase. Unfortunately all of them pit Martha against Mary, as though Martha hadn't also participated in a needful thing.

Surely, with his emphasis upon service, Jesus didn't mean to disparage offering one's life to serve others as Martha was participating in that. Though when specific service is too narrowly defined it is something to avoid as it has lost its life.

Surely, with his emphasis upon service, Jesus didn't mean to focus everything on basking the in the glory of a master teacher such as himself or even G*D, whom he focused on. When no service is required, life has been lost.

It is difficult for us to get into a seasonal flow about his response. Shawna R. B. Atteberry has a sermon about this that is helpful.

It may be that Jesus' response still lies in that fuzzy arena of what we are not yet ready to hear. Thus we still need some help from a Spirit.

For the moment: good for Martha, good for Mary, good for Jesus. Their better parts will not be taken from them. Good for you and good for me.

= = = = = = =

Cathye Wehr puts another twist on this: "Jesus came with the disciples to Martin and Harry's garage to get ready for a road trip. Martin is working on the minivan getting it ready while Harry is over in one of the chairs gathered around the Mr. Coffee listening to Jesus. Martin comes over wiping his greasy hands on a rag, asking Jesus to tell Harry to go put his coveralls on and work on the van with him. Jesus says, 'Martin, Martin, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Harry has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from him.'"

Martha's details
Martin's need
require someone else
to pull things off
to their satisfaction

Harry's listening
Mary's sitting
are all wrapped up
in unitive behavior
needing nothing else

Martha tugs at Harry
Martin at Mary
Harry calls to Martha
Mary to Martin
each deaf to the other

eventually Mary gets hungry
Martin gets hungry
two different hungers
growing out of their hunger
of the moment

tomorrow Mary tugs
and Martin calls
as we lose track
of needful things
and better parts

so mutuality
appreciation of differences
recognition of seasons
gentleness with each other
is once again revealed

- - - - - - -

Bonus: The word "wrapped" above began as "rapt" until this tidbit surfaced to change the choice of language:

One might be surprised to learn that rapt, a word used in describing states of deep delight or absorption, has a relative with an entirely different emotive force--rape. Now most often used to mean "to force someone to submit to sexual acts," rape once had a much broader application, as it meant "to seize, carry off." In fact, it was often used in positive and nonviolent contexts. From the Middle English period, we have examples of its being used to mean "to carry off to heaven from earth," as in "the visions of seynt poul wan [when] he was rapt in to paradys." As this quotation shows, rapt started out as the past participle of rape. As time went on, rapt became restricted to mental or emotional states, while rape developed a new past participle, raped, and became limited to criminal or violent acts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for blessing us with your response.