This summer much of our attention has been focused on mission. That’s not a bad thing. We have taken two mission trips with our youth, promoted Family Promise and Stop Hunger Now for August, while still supporting on-going efforts like the Collierville Food Pantry and Memphis Union Mission. In my sermon for July 17th (“Keeping Martha out of the Kitchen”) I commend Martha for the work she does to make Jesus feel welcome in their home, but I also applaud Mary for not forgetting the “better part.”
You see, our discipleship is not exclusively about what we do. It is also about what we believe, what we learn, and how we grow spiritually. If we neglect the better part, our spiritual lives, we miss the point and ultimately our service and ministry will suffer.
This year our Adult Christian Education ministry, chaired by Jim Walther, has adopted the theme “Connect, Learn, and Grow.” Their emphasis will be on spiritual growth through individual learning as well as classes, workshops, and small groups. When we allow our lives to become so busy that we don’t make time to feed ourselves spiritually our discipleship suffers, no matter how active we are in service. Martha’s mistake was not preparing a meal for her guest. It was being distracted by many things and thus missing the opportunity to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus and learn from him.
As a busy summer draws to a close, make time for daily prayer and devotion. Read a good book on prayer, or faith, or finding God in the world around you. Find time for bible study – either on your own or in a class or small group. Discipleship is a lifelong endeavor and no matter where we are in our journey there is still room for spiritual growth. Continue to serve and be faithful, but whatever you do, don’t be guilty of neglecting the “better part.”