This Weekend

Curriculum

Everyone / Everyone is Growing

February 17 Everyone is growing  / / Jesus invites us to a life of learning with Him

Key Passage: Luke 10:38-42

Writer: Joy Yankey

Big Idea: Jesus invites everyone into a life of learning with Him.  The story of Mary and Martha highlights our different approaches to following Jesus, but no matter who we are, it begins with spending time with Jesus.  Martha was quick to point out what Mary was doing wrong, and Mary was quick to sit at the feet of Jesus.  We all want a shortcut or the secret to what it means to follow Jesus, but the truth is there is no secret because Jesus is available to all who will pursue him 

“Hurry, the guests are about to come and the homemade pizzas are not even close to being done!!” My stress mounted as I tried to complete preparations for our daughter Nicole’s bridal shower. Truthfully, preparing meals for friends and guests has always caused me anxiety, which then leads to also stressing those around me! In contrast, my husband Tim, can prepare an amazing meal for 2 or 50 people, with barely a ruffled feather. And in exact opposite to the traditions of my home growing up, I would prefer to welcome and mingle with guests while Tim would prefer to prepare the meal. But for too many years of our marriage, I tried to fit our marriage into the traditions I had believed from childhood.

In the story of Martha and Mary, Martha exhibits her love for Jesus as she welcomes Him in and prepares the meal. This appears to be Martha’s giftings but also was the cultural norms of the day for women. Mary, however, breaks tradition as she sits at the feet of Jesus, traditionally the man’s role. Each is showing her love to Jesus, but is one better than the other? Martha made space for Jesus to minister by welcoming and preparing a meal, while Mary is singularly focused on Jesus. Mary is focused, but in contrast, Martha is distracted and worried. Jesus doesn’t tell Martha to stop working but to focus: “only one thing is needed.” Jesus calls us to be attentive and focused – in our action as well as in our prayer.

Jesus desires EVERYONE to be growing in relationship with Him, and He invites us to spend time with Him – in His Word and in prayer, but that doesn’t look the same for everyone. We have different personalities, gifts, and life stages so there is not “one way” of growing in our walk with Him. We interact with Him in different ways: reading or listening to Scripture, praying while walking and enjoying nature, sitting at our desk, kneeling in our prayer closet, or praying while mopping the floor, to name just a few. Like Martha, I am easily distracted. Even when I am trying to worship and serve Jesus, my mind is often cluttered and anxious. As we spend time with Him, whether walking, sitting, kneeling, or rocking a baby to sleep, He invites us to be attentive; just going through the motions of Bible reading and prayer to “check off a box” will not bring growth. Intimacy with Jesus grows when we spend time and attention, obeying and putting into practice the next step God places in front of us.

Reading: Luke 10:38-42

Questions:

What do you think Jesus meant when He told Martha “Mary has chosen the better thing?”

  1. Read John 12:1-3. Compare Mary & Martha’s roles in these two passages. Which role do you identify with?
  2. Do you agree that time and attention are needed for growth? How will you be more attentive in your prayer and your action this week?
  3. What spiritual disciplines do you practice? (Scripture reading, Scripture memory, prayer, fasting, solitude, etc.) How have these helped you grow in your walk with Jesus? Is there a discipline you would like to add?

Memory Verse: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” Acts 15:19

Prayer Focus: Pray that God would reveal where we need to slow down and pay attention to what He is doing in and around us. 

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