July 18, 2004
 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home.  She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said.  But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. "Master, don't you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand."
 The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing.  One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it--it's the main course, and won't be taken from her."
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1. The New Interpreter's Study Bible note says: "Following so closely on the heels of the parable of the compassionate Samaritan, this episode reveals the nature of authentic hospitality. The welcome Jesus seeks is not worrisome, distracted domestic performance, but the attending to of this guest, whose very presence is a disclosure of the divine plan. No division between contemplative or active life can be found here, nor should we read here an admonition against the involvement of women in 'service,' a term Luke develops with reference to leadership in the mission."
2. What a vision/mission statement, "We are revealers of authentic hospitality."
3. Can that possibly be sufficient? Don't we have to name Jesus or GOD or Spirit to make it authentic? Can you imagine all the lists we will develop to define "authentic"?
How is your presence or the presence of the congregation you most associate with a "disclosure of the divine" (planned or unplanned)? To wrestle here awhile will be a fruitful use of the gift of time and energy and resources and relationships.