Hey Family! Today’s #MondayMessage is a bit different and here’s why- because God said so. 🙂 The post that is below actually began as the sermon that I preached this past Wednesday at church for our Holy Communion service. I modified it a little bit but if you would prefer to hear this word instead of reading it below, just click here to get the full experience from service. Regardless of the method, I encourage you to grab a warm beverage, cuddle up in your comfy space, and receive the word that God has prepared just for you. I love you and I wish you a Marvelous Monday.
“Come on in, take a seat
I’ve made room for You and me.
Never leave; stay with me”
How was your Thanksgiving dinner? I know, this year was very different from whatever you would have normally done because of Da’Rona and that you probably didn’t get to engage with your loved ones, but even with the differences, how was your Thanksgiving?
For me, I grew up in a Jamaican household that had never heard of Thanksgiving prior to my family’s arrival in the country in 1982. To them, the fourth Thursday of November was always just the fourth Thursday and no special meal was ever prepared. As a result, we never really celebrated this day in my home. This all changed in recent years as we came together as family with those that we loved. We opened our home to family, friends, and significant others, with me and my mother planted in the kitchen for days on end. To be fair, my mother would be the main chef, fixing the important things like the turkey, oxtail, curry chicken and goat, plantain, etc. and I was the main dishwasher slash pastry chef slash side dish chef. And for me, I use the term “chef” VERY loosely. Little Sophia would be my sous chef, in charge of gathering my materials for baking and supplying the house with the added love needed to host a large crowd. Once my mother had food handled and I felt the dishes were at an acceptable low, I would turn to the greater task of cleaning the house and making it presentable to the guests. Bathrooms had to be cleaned, floors needed to be mopped or vacuumed and tables needed to be cleared and wiped clean. Presenting a clean home was my mother’s second biggest joy, right after ensuring that a feast was available for her soon-coming guests. On the day of Thanksgiving, she and I would float throughout the house, serving guests, clearing plates, never fully getting comfortable because we had to ensure that our guests were comfortable and well entertained.
Even this year when our guest list dwindled down to one lone guest, we still spent hours going through our new Thanksgiving ritualistic kitchen dance. As she cooked, I cleaned. As I cooked the one dish that I made, she napped. And once our guest arrived, we sat for a brief meal before I got up to clean again and my mother got up to pack to-go plates for others. Seriously, we’ve finally got this Thanksgiving thing down to a science!
As I reflect back on that Thursday night and Thanksgivings of the past, I have to ask myself this question, “how much time did I spend with my loved ones?” How much time did I spend with the people that I had invited over, truly enjoying their presence? Why was I so busy serving them that I missed the opportunity to genuinely sit and fellowship with them? And as I thought of enjoying the presence of company, God placed this scripture on my heart.
Please, open your Bible or click here to read this scripture passage found in Luke 10:38-42 and keep your Bibles open because we are going to do a quick scripture drive by.
No matter how many different versions of this passage that I read or how much time sits in between each read, one thing remains true, Martha cared about serving Jesus and Mary cared about sitting with Jesus. Their priorities were different.
Where we meet Jesus in this passage is about seven and a half chapters into Luke’s recount of Jesus’ earthly ministry. John the Baptist had baptized Jesus in Luke chapter 3, verse 21, and in Luke chapter 4, we can read about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. The beauty of the synoptic Gospels- that is, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John- is that we get four different views of relatively the same stories. Some may include things that others do not, but at its simplest, it is four recounts of Jesus’ precious time on earth. As I flipped through my Bible, touching the pages of God’s Word in Luke, I read all about Jesus’ time on earth and marvel at what He did for all.
Jesus was kinda a big deal! In chapter four of Luke, Jesus begins His Galilean Ministry, was rejected at Nazareth, casted out an unclean spirit, healed Peter’s mother-in-law, healed many after the Sabbath sunset, and preached in Galilee. That’s good, but it gets better! As we continue to read, we learn that Jesus selects His Disciples, cleanses a leper, heals some more, delivers the Beatitudes, talks about loving and encourages not to judge, speaks many parables, calmed a raging sea, clothed a man in his right mind, raised the dead, sent out the twelve, fed thousands, healed a boy, predicts His own death, and so many other things. In my day, we would say that Jesus was “all that and a bag of chips” but I think the young people would now say that He was the G.O.A.T.- Greatest Of All Time. Whichever phrase rests on your heart, understand this, Jesus was ministering and performing miracles, changing the hearts and minds of those that He encountered; He was known. Think of that one famous person or celebrity that means a lot to you. That’s who Jesus was to them back then. So as we get to our scripture passage, I can imagine that Martha and Mary had heard all about Jesus and the things that He had done and they, naturally, wanted to welcome Him into their home. Cue the major Thanksgiving prep!
Using my Godly imagination, I picture that Mary and Martha had sent out a formal invitation to Jesus and He had RSVP’d on time. As His arrival date was approaching, I can see both women going out and shopping for essential items like flour, meat, different types of cheese for the baked mac and cheese, and hand sanitizer. Then I see them getting back to the house and Martha, ever the preparer, frantically organizer and preheating her oven to begin her renowned meal. Go with me, saints, Martha was known for her collards and she had to make sure that everything was on point for when Jesus- the Messiah- came in to dine with her and her sister. As she was steadily working, I can see Mary, off to the side, Googling more about Jesus so that she knows exactly who is about to come into her house. As Martha worked, Mary studied, and then there was a knock at the door. Jesus had arrived; it’s GO time. Both sisters welcome Him in and then Martha excuses herself into the kitchen to finish cooking. If she’s not careful, the turkey will dry out and nothing is worse than a dry turkey! Meanwhile, in the living room, Mary invited Jesus to have a seat in her favorite chair. I can hear her say, “come on it, take a seat, I’ve made room for You and me, never leave, stay with me.” I see Mary sitting right there with Jesus, taking in all that He is, and basking in the moment of being with the One that she had heard so much about. He is feeding her spirit in a way that no earthly food could ever quench and Mary is enjoying every moment. Beloved, can you see that, too? As Mary drinks of the well that will never run dry, Martha is in the kitchen, saltier than the ham that’s in the oven. She always has to be the responsible one, preparing for company while Mary frolics about. After she finished rolling the dough for her apple pie, Martha stops and says to Jesus, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but can You please tell Mary to come and help me with this meal?” With that, Jesus’ attention shifts from Mary to Martha as He responds, “Martha, you are worried about too many things, but Mary has the right idea to just sit with me.” In my imagination, Jesus also adds, “come join us.”
Beloved, Jesus is calling us to join Him.
When I sat with this scripture. I listened to the song, entitled My Heart Your Home, by Maverick City Music, and I constantly invited Jesus into my heart- which should always be His home.
It is good to prepare for the company that will come into your home. Yes, have food that they can eat, clean the bathroom that they will use, strategically place air freshener throughout your home. Yes, all of that is good! But once they knock at the door and you invite them in, take a seat and truly fellowship with them. That’s the advice that I give you for guests that come into your physical home, but also what the Bible advises as we welcome Jesus into our hearts. Like Mary, Jesus wants us to sit with Him and dine on what He has prepared for us. Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart- will you answer? Will you let Him make your heart His home? Will you allow everything that is yours to be His?
“Come on in, take a seat
I’ve made room for You and me.
Never leave; stay with me”
I think of a sermon that my sister in Christ, Minister Vivian Slaughter-Mitchell preached during Holy Communion in October of last year. The title of the sermon was “The Lord’s Table.” Her scripture passage was 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 and this is what stood out to me. Minister Slaughter-Mitchell advised us that as we prepare to dine with Jesus at the Lord’s Table, that we must Remember, Resound, Rejoice, and Receive. We must remember Who God is, Resound and celebrate that He has forgiven our sins, Rejoice in who He is, and Receive all that He has for us.
If you are hesitating with that YES, let’s look to Mary to see what time with Jesus did for her heart and life. Real quick, turn to John chapter 12. In the beginning verses of this chapter, we read about another dinner that is taking place at the home of Martha and her sister, Mary. This time, their brother, Lazarus, is there. One chapter prior, in chapter 11, we read that Lazarus had died and Jesus raised him from the dead. Then back in chapter 12, verse 3, we see Mary, once again at the feet of Jesus, anointing His feet with “costly oil of spikenard.” She anointed His feet with the oil and then wiped them clean with her hair, which left the house filled with the fragrance of the oil. Mary’s act of making room for Jesus and sitting with Him in Luke chapter 10, allowed her to remember His grace in resurrecting her brother, resound at how He saved them, rejoice through this demonstration of love, and receive His acceptance of her act of worship. But don’t miss that last part, her act of worship filled the entire house. What happens for God in our heart spills over to every aspect of our being. It all starts in our heart.
Beloved, Jesus is knocking at the doors of your heart and asking for you to make room for Him. He wants to come in and make your heart His very own home. From there, He will handle everything, leaving no detail missed. I urge you to make the necessary preparations for Jesus’ arrival in your heart, but then when He arrives, welcome Him in and allow Him to get comfortable. Sit with Him and let Him do what He does best. Your heart is His home; make room.