Sermon- We Can! We Can!, Luke 10:42 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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We Can! We Can!

Mary has chosen the better portion
Luke 10:38-42

Sermon Topic Choice

Sermon Week Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 10:42


A young boy found a dime laying in the road. "This is it!" he thought to himself. Thereafter he always walked with his head down, eyes on the road. Reportedly, after fifty years he had accumulated a treasure consisting of forty-one miles of string, 8,000 elastic bands, 26,000 assorted buttons, more than 50,000 pins, and $6.58 in loose change, a bent back and a sour disposition. The story symbolizes the unrewarding life-state of the "Marthas" of this world to whom Jesus speaks in today's Gospel Lesson.

Jesus comes to preach in a certain village. Two sisters, Martha and Mary, invite Him to their home. When He arrives, Mary seats herself "at the Lord's feet" to listen to His words. Martha has a different priority. She busies herself, in Luke's words, "with all the details of hospitality." Moreover, she is annoyed because Mary has given her full attention to Jesus. "Lord, are You not concerned that my sister has left me to do the household tasks all alone?" Martha asks. To which Jesus replies, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen it and she shall not be deprived of it." The "one thing," the required thing that Mary has chosen is to hear the Word of God from Jesus, to experience the Word of God through Jesus. Mary draws close to Him and listens to Him. Martha keeps her distance and listens to her own petty complaints. Mary positions herself to experience God's presence in her life. Martha constructs a wall of petty anxiety which cuts her off from the experience.

The "Marys" of the world are open to the possibility of hearing some new Word from God, of experiencing God's presence in some new way. Their heads are held high because their expectations are high. They can see beyond the narrow, unrewarding little world of petty anxiety to a horizon of hope in the New Life Jesus offers. The "Marthas" of the world, questing for security and social standing, inevitably are bent low under a heavy burden of anxiety. [...]

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