PART FOUR - WITH GOD: devotional series
By: Christie Mannin
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
In Romans 12:13 the Lord says “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Our society has told us that hospitality essentially means entertaining company. We envision the perfect home, immaculately clean, put together with beautiful flowers and Pinterest worthy ideas. That to invite others into our homes, we must have the most well equipped media room with comfy recliners and the largest screen or a beautiful pool with expensive landscaping. Most of us would never even dream of the possibility of hosting a meal in our homes. We feel inadequate, unworthy, or that maybe having someone in our home might expose our weaknesses, mistakes, messes, and vulnerabilities.
What if our homes became sacred spaces? What if we began to care less about being perfect and more about being present? What if we became willing to open our doors no matter what mess we might expose? To provide those we love with a place to be heard, seen, and loved. What if we quit worrying about putting together the best party as if it were a competitive sport, but instead began to try to outdo each other in love, honesty, and listening? Sacred spaces can exist in any form…a dorm, apartment, outdoor patio, around a coffee table, or with paper plates. It doesn’t matter if you have 500 sq. feet or 5,000 sq ft.. The important thing is to create an environment where people feel home. Where souls are fed, where God’s voice is heard, and we are knit together in community.
We must begin to put our faith in front of our fears. We must open our doors and allow others into our homes. When they enter in to that sacred space they must leave feeling better about themselves than they do us. It will be because no matter what is going on, they are still loved unconditionally and in that moment they will see the true nature of God and his perfect love for us. We must not waste opportunities to ask good questions and to really listen to the answers.
Finally, we must understand that just like Rome, true community wasn’t built in a day. It is vitally important as a community of believers to continually press into every opportunity we can to gather people in our homes and around our tables. When there are days that seem like we are making little progress in the area of true community, know that it takes time. Persistence will pay off. Those days will come when a hard time has come or there is something to celebrate and you will be the one that they come to for counsel or celebration. Press on! 1 Peter 4:9 says “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” The payoff will come.
REFLECTION & APPLICATION
- What is the major difference between Mary and Martha?
- How does Jesus lead Martha? How does he teach her about presence?
- Martha was concerned with her performance while Mary was concerned with her position before Jesus. How does this speak to our hearts about how we relate with God daily?
- How could you use your home as a space to invite people into relationship -- a place they leave feeling better about themselves and their relationships?
- Try something: Commit within the next 30 days to invite a few into your home...not to entertain, or impress, but to enjoy life and God's goodness together.
They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many signs and wonders performed by the apostles. Acts 2:42