Mary’s challenge, what to do when Jesus leaves?

This morning, as usual, our priest gave a very good sermon. The Gospel was Luke 10:38-42 (of course preaching on the Gospel is a bit of a copout, the OT texts were particularly good and challenging 😉 Amos 8 and Psalm 52) and he preached the expected trope that Mary was doing the better thing by recognizing that Jesus’ time with her was fleeting. “Mary understand that God was with them and that this was a unique time. The dinner could go to hell. Let the meat burn, the potatoes go dry, and the desert stay frozen. God was with them and the ordinary had to be set aside.” [mfn]I can’t resist pointing out that he is British. Perhaps that explains English cooking, they are recognizing that Christ is always with them![/mfn]

While very true and it is also true that we, like Martha, are often far too focused upon the busy, ordinary things of life and forget that we are to be about God’s work, but his statement made me wonder what Mary did once Jesus left. Presumably at some point we really ought to get the washing done and prepare proper meals. I am not stating anything new, this is a challenge we find in Paul’s letters and throughout the church history. It is still a real challenge. It is easy to say, “When Jesus is with us we should drop everything else and focus on him.” And…what about when Jesus isn’t sitting down for tea in our house?

I believe that is one of the biggest challenges that any Christian faces. What to do in the ordinary day-to-day, recognizing God is with us and yet still having to write that paper, grade those exams, and get the kids off to school? How do we consecrate the common?

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