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Host with the most

Luke chapter 10:38 - 42 In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things,

and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’

Martha and Mary - He Qi

Martha was always busy.

She saw the needs of others and faithfully served them.

While Martha was doing this,

Mary was just sitting.

She only saw Jesus

and was singularly interested

in what He was saying.

At the same time there was Lazarus,

whom we do not meet at this particular time, but who we know to have become seriously ill and near to death.

Here is represented a divine balance in our Christian experience,

portrayed by two sisters and a brother.

Each member of this family functioned together

and supplied their particular part.

Martha served, while Mary waited.

When Martha criticized Mary,

Jesus did not tell her to sit down and relax like Mary.

Rather, He said, “Mary has chosen the better part,

which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40- 42).

Martha was to continue serving,

because it is necessary,

an outworking of faith in action.

But Mary too had her part to play,

in the hospitality of listening.

The “household” in Bethany, which Jesus loved to visit,

is resident within each one of us.

The occupants, two sisters and a brother,

are to fulfil their particular part and function

within each aspect of our own spiritual life experience.

We must allow each of these,

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus,

to live out their particular part within us to the fullest,

in order to bring us to the highest of our potential.

May we, as balanced spiritual adults, attract Jesus,

as He searches for a home to visit.

Then, when He comes into our home,

the “Martha” within us

will enable us to serve those in need.

As the “Mary” within us waits at His feet,

Jesus will make Himself personally known to us.

And, “Lazarus,” our model of friendship

and close relationship with Jesus,

who in His hands came to life in a way unimaginable.

God our Father, whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, in learning, argument and hospitality: may we so rejoice in your love that the world may come to know the depths of your wisdom, the wonder of your compassion, and your power to bring life out of death; through the merits of Jesus Christ, our friend and brother, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

"Host with the Most" - Wade E. Taylor (1924 – 2012) and PHNC.

Top picture by the Japanese Christian artist He Qi.

He Qi’s relationship with art started when he was sent out to work in the fields during the cultural revolution in China. He wasn’t much for working in the fields so he thought if he could paint Mao’s portrait may be he could skip working outdoors. Through the supervision of Professor Nu Sibai he was able to paint both Chairman Mao and learn about Renaissance painters. He finished his dissertation at Hamburg Art Institute and became the first Chinese to earn a Ph D. in religious arts after the Cultural revolution. His inspiration is Biblical text and Chinese folk art.

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