Pastor David Nehrenz
Dear Fellow Saints in Christ,
This month I am sharing with you what I wrote for the Norman Transcript devotional page on July 19. It is very appropriate for us this month, as we begin again the work of our “One Family – Church, Childcare and Campus Ministry.”
“Many of us have been blessed to have brothers and sisters. Siblings are a gift from God. We have grown up with them in our families. We share the same parents. It is always amusing to share memories with them from childhood.
Jesus enjoyed the company of three siblings. They were especially dear to him. Their names were Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Their home was in the town of Bethany, which is above Jerusalem, near the Mount of Olives. They often hosted Jesus in their house. Jesus frequently ate supper with them and stayed there overnight.
We consider the account of these two sisters and their time with Jesus: ‘Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’ (Luke 10:38-42)
What is so beautiful and engaging about this narrative is that it is so real. Jesus lived among real people, in real time, in real villages, with the same real issues all of us experience. Dinner has to be prepared. The table has to be set. The dishes have to be washed. This is the commonplace routine of a normal day.
Yet there are times to put the chores aside and take some time to rest. Especially when Jesus, the Son of the Eternal Heavenly Father, is in one’s earthly house! There is earthly food and there is heavenly food. Since Jesus is also the Bread of Life, to meditate on his teaching is to receive the true bread from heaven.
Mary understood this. Martha needed to be reminded about this. Jesus loved them both. He knows that life is filled with anxieties and troubles. The good portion Jesus comes to bring is the pure Word of God. The only proper response is to sit at his feet and listen to his teaching.
Did you realize that attending the Divine Services at church is doing exactly that? We don’t go to church on Sunday primarily to do something for Jesus. We go to church so Jesus can do something for us! He is present there to feed us on his word. He comes through ordinary means by attaching the promises of God to water, bread and wine.
Jesus divinely serves us. Through his sacrificial death on the cross, his glorious resurrection and through faith in his name, he freely gives us forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. The means of grace by which these are conveyed to us include preaching, teaching, reading, baptism, absolution and holy communion. Through ordinary means the extraordinary Word of God comes into our lives.
So each Sunday, be like Mary. Do the one thing that actually is necessary. Put the chores away. They can wait. Attend the divine service with anticipation in your heart. Joyfully and serenely ‘sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to his teaching!’” Dedicate yourself to be at church for two hours each Sunday – for the divine services and for Sunday School and Bible class. We look forward to seeing you! Be with us each week!
In our Lord Jesus,
Pastor David Nehrenz