Monday Morning Musings [07/19/10]

Yesterday's Gospel text was that story of Mary and Martha, and Jesus lifting up Mary's sitting around and putting down Martha's doing the work around the house.  It's never been a particular favorite of mine, with the worn (mis)interpretations of Mary being the good one and Martha the bad one. But for some reason this time I read this text in a new light, and it was fun to poke around with yesterday.Much of what I read about this story is the yin of Mary and the yang of Martha, etc etc.  BUt really the main character in this story is Jesus, who comes in as a guest and who soon takes over as host.  And as this pushy host Jesus affirms the upside down things and calls out the things most like me.   In other words, by lifting up Mary's sitting and listening, Jesus supports the counter-cultural notion of women sitting among the men in conversation (the world's never been the same ever since), and by reminding Martha that her good intentions of hospitality had turned into "me vs you" (a very common practice in our culture, the whole labelling of people not like us).  In my sermon I went on to play up how Jesus might call us to set aside practices affirmed by our culture at large and/or take up alternative practices that might just get us in bad terms with that same culture. But what got to me this time around with this text:  If we have the audacity to dare to welcome Jesus into our lives, let us be prepared that we won't be in charge anymore, and there's no telling what our host will have us doing.

By Scott Rollins