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The Passionate Jesus

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Topic Features About Disciple

The Rev. Dr. Thomas G. Long

Mary and Martha

Luke 10:38-42

Proper 11 - Year C

July 22, 2007

The Rev. Dr. Thomas G. Long (PCUSA)

Luke's story about the visit of Jesus to the home of Mary and Martha is almost guaranteed to stir up an argument. To begin with, there is already an argument going on in this story; and, over the years, there have been countless more arguments generated about the story.

Here is what happened to cause the argument in the story: As Luke tells it, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and one day he stops in a certain village where two sisters live--Mary and Martha. Martha takes the initiative, welcomes Jesus into her home, and begins preparing for him as fancy a meal as she can. There is nothing unusual about this--showing hospitality, welcoming guests, feeding them well--these were very important virtues in that culture, and Martha is doing her best to show hospitality to Jesus and to make him feel at home. But while she is busily working away on the food, her sister Mary does something unusual. Normally in the ancient world, all of the adult women would have shared in the responsibility for preparing a meal, but Mary chooses not to help out. Instead she sits quietly at Jesus' feet, like a student or a disciple would, and listens intently to what Jesus is saying.

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The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Matthew 28:16-20

Trinity Sunday

May 21, 2005

The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston (TEC)

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…." There are probably fewer words in the Scriptures that have had a more profound effect on our common history as the men and women of the Christian faith in that simple phrase: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations."

Those few words set in motion the entire missionary movement of Christianity through the centuries. It was on that basis, that understanding, that we had been commanded by Christ to go into the world and share our witness with other men and women of different cultures, different traditions and faiths, and in doing so, win them over, convert them to the Christian faith. This created the historic missionary movement that has touched every continent and every culture on earth.

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