E-Letter #156

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Devotions | 0 comments


It’s a part of my morning routine – making coffee, emptying the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, making breakfast for my husband, filling the multitude of birdfeeders dotting the backyard. I love routine; it grounds me; it settles me; it provides the space and time for my brain and body to wake up. But lately, my brain, like a hamster wheel, has been running on overdrive, and I wake up overwhelmed by the sensation of an overfilled dance card. This morning I dawdle, and by the time I juggle containers of sunflower seed and millet into the backyard, rays of dawn are wrestling with the night, and the morning’s avian sentinel has trilled his first melody. His song catches me off-guard.  My first thought?  I’m running behind schedule!  My second thought?  Stop and listen…it’s a familiar song…whistle along!


Anticipating a jammed week, I outlined my sermon on hospitality late Monday evening.  I chose a classic text, the story of two sisters shared by the evangelist Luke. In it, Jesus pops in for a visit, and Martha, the consummate hostess, busies herself in the kitchen while her sister Mary dawdles in the livingroom. Not surprisingly, Martha has a few thoughts she wants to get off her chest, and not surprisingly, Jesus has a few thoughts he wants to put in the heart beating in that chest.


I look at my outline and see that I’m writing (once again!) from a familiar place, a nest, a home, the struggling heart of a frustrated Martha whose spirit I easily channel and a curious Mary whose spirit I seek. Jesus knows those two hearts – the heart that wants to make everything right and the heart that wants to know everything right – and offers to feed anyone who hungers for his whole-hearted hospitality. “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 from her.” (Lk. 10:41,42)


I decide to scrap my sermon outline because Jesus’ gracious hospitality reveals to me the inner workings of a heart that has succumbed to the temptation to rationalize the goodness of my busyness. My first thought?  But, but, but…the worship bulletin!  It’s already printed! Now the service will be out of whack! My second thought? “Rindy, Rindy, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Stop and listen…it’s a familiar song…whistle along!”