Text: Luke 10: 38 – 42
Title: How Should We Spend Our Time?
It is only fitting that November is chosen to be the Stewardship month and a very timely occasion to remind us of the abundant gifts, many talents and vast resources that God has blessed us and entrusted us to be used in the building of His kingdom, in service to the church and in helping others. November is a sensible month to celebrate Stewardship because UCCP recognizes the importance of proper management and effective utilization of our time, wealth, and talents in preparation for the approaching Advent season and the coming of our Savior Jesus. Now, the passage I presume is not a very popular text that is commonly being used to illustrate the emphasis of the Stewardship of Time. However, the passage is a simple, easy to understand, common experience which we can easily relate to, thus, makes it a helpful story to help us understand where and how we should use our time. Now, the title of the message today comes in a question form: How Should We Spend our Time? The story of Mary and Martha with Jesus gives us three points that would help us understand what it means to become a good steward of time. I.
First, By Being With Christ we receive discernment and wisdom to know how we can spend our time correctly. When Jesus and his disciples arrived in Martha’s house from their long travel the two sisters welcomed them. Verse 38 says, Martha opened her home to him. If you try to visualize what was going on, probably the two sisters prepared their sala, gave them stools to sit on, opened the windows for ventilation and perhaps offered them refreshments the same way we do when visitors come in our house. I am sure Mary and Martha were both tense but at the same time excited to have Jesus and his disciples in their house. Who would not be? It must have been a great honor and privilege for them, an opportunity for them to come close and get to know Jesus. Here, the story tells us of two women who, I would say, tried to offer their time to be with Jesus in the best possible way and manner. Each of them invested their time to activities and efforts that each view as important to them. In verse 39, we know that Mary chose to sit at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. And, in verse 40, it shows that Martha preferred to spend her time in preparations that had to be made. Looking at how each devoted their time, we would probably not see anything wrong or inappropriate. On one hand, perhaps we would even commend Martha for her hard work and initiative in ensuring that her guests are well accommodated and entertained. On the other hand, we might even scold Mary for not helping her sister. As we read Martha complaining to Jesus in verse 40, we might even agree with her complain why Mary was just sitting while she is doing all the hard work – “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me. However, we can see that in verse 41 Jesus didn’t agree with Martha instead gave Martha an advice “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things.” Now, who do you think was a better steward of time between the two? Today, in our context we might say Martha used her time better than Mary. Specially for Filipinos like us, hospitality is one of the best expression of a time spent correctly and productively. In our church, we usually speak well of individuals as hardworking people when one put their time on service and preparation. We even look at it as a faithful expression of being a good steward than those who sit at the pews concentrating, listening on lectures or sermons. At times, we would even brand those people who prefer to sit and listen as lazy, insensitive and inconsiderate. However, when we try to look closely why Jesus has commended how Mary chose to spend her time than Martha we will understand Jesus point. Jesus put more value on what we can get and what we will receive when...
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