Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mary has chosen what is better...

Luke 10 contains three stories: the sending of the seventy-two disciples, the parable of the scandalous Samaritan, and the account of Martha and Mary's tiff. Interesting, but the Martha/Mary story contains the thread-point, the idea that runs through the whole chapter: Mary has chosen what is better. Here's how that story goes: Jesus comes to town and Martha opens her home to him. But while Martha is making preparations, her sister Mary sits at the feet of Jesus instead of assisting with cooking. Martha insists that Jesus command Mary to help her, but guess what Jesus says...

Jesus makes the same point in the Samaritan story: the social outcast has chosen what is better. And he makes a similar point in the sending story - the seventy-two disciples are instructed to travel to cities and enter a home with the phrase, "Peace to this house." If the homeowner "loves peace, your peace will rest on that house" - or, Jesus could say...he has chosen what is better.

With the sending of the seventy-two, the choice has to do with announcing peace; with the Samaritan it is a choice of giving mercy, and with Mary it is a choice of listening. Announcing the peace of Jesus, giving the mercy of Jesus, listening to the words of Jesus.

We reject Jesus when we refuse to make peace with those who have wounded us. We reject Jesus when we refuse to give mercy to the abused. We reject Jesus when we refuse to listen at the expense of serving him.

But Jesus sends us to bring peace, to give mercy, and to listen to him; the world needs more of us to go...and choose what is better.

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