Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Family: An expression of the Kingdom of God
St. Luke 12:41-48
the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Today's Bible passage is difficult to understand, but very relevant for us today. The question is not about working or not working, but about who's will we are trying to accomplish. Are we trying to accomplish "Our will" or "God's will?"
Martha welcomes Jesus into her house, cooks for him, and calls him Lord. However, when we read the text carefully, we discover that she was distracted (v. 40). This may be part of the reason why she tells Jesus what to do. Her "request" to Jesus is very self-centered. She begins by asking if Jesus does not care that Mary is letting Martha do all the work. She ends her statement by telling Jesus that he should tell Mary to help her. In her brief statement, she uses the words "me" twice and "myself" once.
Mary on the other hand is sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to what he has to say. She is taking the role of a disciple, listening to Jesus not telling Jesus what he should do. Jesus does not criticize Martha for working but for "worrying and being distracted by many things." When Jesus says that Mary "has chosen the better part that will not be taken from her," perhaps he means that Mary understands the need to spend time listening to God. What Mary receives from listening to Jesus will not be taken from her and will help her not worry and not be distracted by many things.
A family is supposed to be an expression of the Kingdom of God. Many Jewish festivals are centered in the home. Even part of the Sabbath traditions is done at the home while others are at the synagogue. In Jewish life, the home was a place where parents teach their children their faith and traditions are followed so that their faith would be a part of their life.
As we celebrate Family Sunday, let us examine our lives and see if our family is the type of family that God wants it to be. Are we self-centered and teaching our children to be self-centered? Or are our families God-centered and an expression of the Kingdom of God? Are we willing to listen to God, so that we can serve the way God wants us to? As a family can we not be worried or distracted from what is truly important?
The Kingdom of God is where the will of God is done, not the will of people. The Kingdom of God is where the love of God unites people for a common purpose. The Kingdom of God is where God is glorified not people. As we pray that we will be worthy to enter the Kingdom of God, let us pray that our families become an expression of the Kingdom of God.
We thank you Lord for our families. Enable us to always remember that they are a gift from you. Enable us to always love them and support them the way You would want us to. Enable us to set a Christian example for them. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thought for the Day
You know a person truly loves you when they bring you closer to God
Rev. Shibi Abraham
Vicar, Mar Thoma Church of Dallas, Carrolton, TX