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Brinkley: Slow your roll

January 24, 2013

We are living in a time today that may be described as fast and furious. We eat at fast food restaurants, pay for our groceries in express lanes, have our vehicles serviced at jiffy lubes and get advances on our paychecks at quick cash.
Our fast paced lifestyles have given birth to such names as Stop & Go, Fastbreak, Fastlane, Rapid refund, Quick Keys and B-Quick. Everything we do now is so urgent that it must be done faster than right now.
Even our churches are not immune. We complain that church just last too long on Sunday morning. We don’t have time to fellowship after service. And very few show back up for an evening service.
There’s no time for Wednesday night bible studies or Sunday school on Sunday morning. We can’t swing by for choir rehearsal, ushers meeting or anything else during the week. We are just too busy for the Lord. With our busy lifestyles we just can’t find the time to wait on GOD.
But we expect GOD to wait on us. We think its GOD’s duty and nature to wait on us until we get ready to fit him into our lives. Somebody’s not too busy to stop by the liquor store or bootleggers house, but they don’t have time to stop by the Lord’s house. Somebody’s not too busy to stop by the Silver Star, but they don’t have time for the bright and mourning star.
Somebody’s not too busy to stop by the club meeting, but they can’t find time for prayer meeting. Well, I certainly don’t want to sound like the voice of doom, but you need to know that GOD is not going to wait on you forever. GOD is not a divine watchdog that waits with his tail wagging until you decide to come home and pet him on the head or throw him a bone.
In the text today Martha was so busy that she left no time to hear the words of the Lord. By looking at Martha’s behavior, I’d like to point out how she was serving the Lord but still missing a blessing.
The Reception
Martha received Jesus into her house. That’s what many of us need to do. We are good at claiming him at the church but if the Lord would follow some of us home he would not find a bible anywhere in the house. If he did find one, it’ll probably be covered with dust.
It’s good to have Jesus at church but we desperately need him at home. If we had more Jesus in our homes maybe we’d have less divorces. If we had more Jesus in our homes, maybe we’d have less suicide, less alcohol and drug problems. If we had more Jesus in our homes, maybe we’d have fewer unruly children, wayward wives and abusive husbands. You might say you got the Lord.....but what I want to know is; do you have him at home?
Martha had a sister named Mary. She sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his words. The scripture indicates no formal introduction or greetings. And not once does it point out that Mary spoke to Jesus. She just listened and heard his words. Anytime Jesus comes into the household everyone there will be blessed.
The Service
Martha also served Jesus. She was a very busy lady. Being the hostess, Martha wanted everything to be just right. She broke out the fine china, the best silverware, the embroidery tablecloth and the best napkins.
The meal had to be not only prepared just right but it had to look appetizing and delicious. The meal had to be garnished just right, seasoned to perfection and served with elegance and style. But while Martha was busy serving, Mary was busy hearing the word of GOD.
Martha was too busy to hear Jesus and she couldn’t slow down long enough to realize that although her sister was slow to serve the meal, she was quick to hear the word. Mary was ahead in the word and Martha needed to slow her roll and catch what was most important at that time.
I am not saying not to serve. It is our duty to serve. That is a part of our Christian mission. But when serving prevents you from hearing the word of GOD or it prevents you from taking counsel with the Lord...you are too busy. If preaching is going on in the sanctuary, nobody should be in the kitchen cooking.
When the word of GOD is being proclaimed, the ushers ought not to be ushering. There should be no pew meetings, note passing or anything else. If you are doing anything during the sermon that causes you to miss any part of the message....you are too busy. You need to slow your roll.
The Attitude
People who are work-aholics work themselves into a frenzy and then get mad because management won’t raise the standard to their level. However, along with their high level of productivity comes a high rate of stress related illnesses.
Almost all high strung over-achievers are taking a medley of prescription drugs for high blood pressure, migraines, ulcers, back pains and aching joints. But others who do their job the best they can and let GOD take up the slack lead a more peaceful and fulfilled life.
Martha got mad because Mary did not trouble herself with the serving. So she confronted not her sister, but Jesus. She even implied that he didn’t care that she served and worked so hard with no help, she had an attitude with Jesus.
Jesus told her that she was troubled about many things but her sister had chosen the good part which would not be taken away from her. You see, Martha’s serving, even though she was doing a fine job, would soon pass away. After the meal has been served and the dishes washed and put away, the glory of the meal would be over.
Whatever it is you are troubled about today.....it will pass away. Some of you are troubled over your job. You are rushing to work and working your fingers to the bone. You’re leaving little or no time for worship and the word of GOD. But when you retire no one will remember how hard you worked.
Mary got the word of GOD and that will never pass away. That’s the good part. You may be fired from the job. They may put you out of your club, expel you from school, kick you off the board of directors, or impeach you from public office, but if you slow your roll and get the word of GOD, you’ll have something that cannot be taken from you.
That’s what we all are admonished to do today. Slow your roll. Get your work done, get your meals served, get your business fixed and get your house in order. But above all make sure you get the word of GOD.

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