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July 2013

Distracting Details

Pentecost Proper 11; 9th Sunday after Pentecost

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: Luke 10:38-42  Getting Ready

How do your families get ready for church? What sort of things do you do in the morning so that everyone is ready to go to church? (Let children share their stories.) Most of us eat breakfast in the morning, brush our teeth, and comb our hair. Some will find nice, new clothes to wear. Some women may put on makeup and fix their hair. Some men may wear a tie or even polish their shoes. And, most important of all, some families say a prayer asking God to help them listen and learn in church. We can honor God by the way we get ready to worship on Sundays.

What if we went through all the motions of getting ready to go to church on a Sunday morning, but we never got out the door? What if we were so busy getting ready and making sure we looked just right and had the perfect outfit on, that we never made it to church? Would we have missed the most important thing? (Let kids respond.) Why do we come to church on Sunday? (Let kids discuss.) Is it just so we can get dressed up and see our friends? Sunday worship is for praising God and thanking God and joining with other Christians in prayer and singing. We go to hear about Jesus and to listen to his words read from the Bible.

Today’s Gospel lesson from the book of Luke tells about a time when Jesus went to visit some friends named Mary and Martha. Martha welcomed Jesus into her home and then went scurrying about cleaning the house and getting lots of food prepared for a big feast that they were having in Jesus’ honor. Her sister, Mary, on the other hand, sat down at Jesus’ feet and listened to Jesus as he taught her.

Martha did not think that Mary was being fair by not helping her. So she said to Jesus, “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 Jesus replied, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing you need to be concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it away from her.”

Having Jesus come to your house and then not even taking time to listen to him is like getting all ready for church and then not going to church. Even if we do come to church, sometimes we start thinking about all kinds of things that take our mind off Jesus, and we may forget to listen to what Jesus is trying to teach us. For the rest of the worship service today, I want you to try hard to keep your mind on Jesus. When you join in the songs and prayers and really listen to the sermon, it’s like sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to what he has to teach you!

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, teach us to listen to you with all our heart.

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