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In addition to this Virtual Worship Service, you are invited to join us on Zoom for the
All Church Coffee Hour
Sunday, January 17 – 10:00am – 11:00am
It will be a time for Check-in, Prayers, and getting better acquainted in Small Group Conversation.
We hope you’ll join us – Bring a church friend!

Use the Zoom link in our Saturday and Sunday emails.
Email the church office if you need the Zoom link: Link Request

SUNDAY – JANUARY 17, 2021

Mary and Martha by He Qi

“Be to Do”
Marcus Alphin

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, January 17, 2021

Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Rev. Jan Reynolds, Caryn Prince, Laura Zimmerman, Marcus Alphin, Tracy Walthard, Kelsey Walthard, and Dawne Carver.

Opening Song

“Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche – performed by Todd Galberth and Friends

(c) 1997 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music – CCLI #885509

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch Tracy Walthard present Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

PRESCHOOL LESSON:

Preschool Memory Verse for January:

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Preschool children for Sunday, January 17th:

Preschool Bottom Line for the week of January 17th:

GRADES K-5 LESSON:

Grades K-5 Memory Verse for January:

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Kindergarten – 5th Grade children for Sunday, January 17th:

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of January 17th:

Message for Youth

Life is an adventure! Some days it’s amazing and some days are heartbreaking. Yet each day is a precious and an unrepeated gift from God. “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24

How we choose to live out our adventure is up to us and in our attitude. Do you get ready to tackle the day, pushing through it to check off the to-do list? Or do you get up, ready to embrace the day and see where God is leading? I admit that I have days that I “tackle” the day and I have days where I “embrace” the day! Anyone relate?
My challenge is – Am I checking in with God first? Am I checking in with the one who gave me this day to live? Honestly, not always.

Sometimes, I feel like my to-do list is so overwhelming, that I get out of bed and hit the floor running! Or I’m so exhausted, that it’s a struggle to even get out of bed. When I feel like that, that is when I need to check in with God the most! I need to be still (and that can be a challenge some days), give thanks for the day ahead (again a challenge some days) and ask for His will and guidance in my day. Not my will. And then, I need to be ready for the adventure He has planned for today. Not tomorrow, but today!

Some days, the adventure will be full of joy and laughter. Some days, the pain and sorrow will feel overwhelming. Some days, there are lots of rest and may feel boring. Yet no matter what your day is like, it’s still a gift, it’s still an adventure to live. Wake up, check in with God and trust that He is with you, that He has a plan and wants to guide you in this adventure called life! Blessings, Dawne Carver

Joys and Concerns

Please let us know how we can support you in prayer this week. We will share requests for prayer with Deacons and staff, and with the congregation as appropriate.

Click on the image below to submit a prayer request.

Prayer

Click the arrow below to see and hear Laura Zimmerman offer this morning’s Prayer or read the Prayer below

Prayer – Inspired and quoted by an article by Richard Rohr at cac.org (Contemplation & Action). Written by Jan Reynolds. 

Gracious God, 

As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, we celebrate the rebirth of time. We wait for you to do new things. We wait for the coming of grace, your revelation in these times of tumult. We wait for the truth. We wait for a vision for the whole. 

But we cannot just wait. We must pray and act.

May our prayer meet your unveiling, as you reveal what is going on beneath the polished and busy surfaces of our minds, our hearts, and our bodies. May our contemplation live within us in pure, open moments of right here, right now. This is enough, this is fullness. This is the reality that will point the way.

May our communion with you inform our action, that we will act without fear and harmful reactivity, but with purpose according to your wisdom. May we act with grounded love in everything we do. May we provide what we long for most deeply to those around us. 

We are reminded of the prayer Jesus taught us: 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen

Music for Reflection

“Rebel Heart” – by Lauren Daigle

Licensed to YouTube by WMG (on behalf of Centricity Music/12Tone); CMRRA, Adorando Publishing, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol CMG Publishing, SOLAR Music Rights Management, LatinAutorPerf, ASCAP, and 9 Music Rights Societies – CCLI #885509

Faith Offering

Grateful for the opportunity To Be. Grateful for the opportunity To Do.

Please continue your giving during this time, so that St. Andrew may continue to serve our local community and our membership. We recognize that some of you have been impacted financially by economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. For those of you who can, please continue to give on a regular basis.

There are several options available:

  • Give electronically to the St. Andrew General Fund
  • Set up your donation to St. Andrew to be paid through your bill paying service at your personal bank.
  • Mail a check to St. Andrew, or drop your envelope into our locked mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476

Scripture

Luke 10:38-42 – New International Version

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Sermon

Mary and Martha 
Katherine Marie Ricks | United States | Oil on panel 
Ricks’s painting depicts Martha and Mary as two sides of the same person. 

“Be to Do”
Marcus Alphin

Click the arrow below to see and hear Marcus Alphin’s Sermon or read the Sermon below

I, like many of you, love running through my day with my hair on fire…I like to stay busy, but that business leaves little margin in my day for reflection.

My wife, Jenny, and I had a chance to get away to Tahoe for a few days…where I took time to slow down…and as I did I began to listen and hear God’s voice. The last day I was sitting on our dock, looking up at the stars, and a story in the Bible came to mind. 

Let me provide some context first to this story:
In the days when Jesus burst on the scene, he found himself in a male dominated society that subjugated women, denying them equal treatment or opportunities as men. What I love about Jesus is that he was and will always be counter cultural, showing that he has always and will always value women equal to men. In fact according to Luke, among Jesus’ inner circle of disciples were many women, who according to Luke 8, supported them out of their own means. In fact, among his closest friends were two sisters named Martha and Mary. Here is the story of when Jesus is traveling through Bethany on his way to Jerusalem and stops in to spend time with them.

Luke 10:38-42 (NASB):
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who was also seated at the Lord’s feet, and was listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do the serving by myself? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

What are you first impressions of this story?

I have taken some time to reflect on this story from many angles and here are some of my observations of what is going on here:

Luke 10:38 “Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.”
Martha opened her home to Jesus (it says it is her home, not Mary’s)

Luke 10:39 “And she had a sister called Mary, who was also seated at the Lord’s feet, and was listening to His word.”

Some English text says that “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said” (But in the original Greek text and in some more literal versions, like the NASB, I used here says, “She (Martha) had a sister called Mary, who was also seated at the Lord’s feet and was listening to his word.” (So it appears that Martha and Mary were both seated at Jesus feet listening to him). 

At some point Martha went off to do the work in preparing a meal and cleaning up…

Any of you who have a strong gift of hospitality can probable relate to what I imagine is going through Martha’s head: Oh wow, its great sitting and listening to Jesus, but if I don’t get up and go begin preparing dinner we won’t eat until late in the evening…dinner won’t cook itself – (if she only knew then what we have available to us now, where our dinner literally cooks itself).

I picture Martha in the kitchen working away, sweating up a storm, beginning to stew inside, part frustration at what she feels is Mary’s selfishness and the other part of her oozing with jealousy that Mary gets to hang out with Jesus and she is stuck doing all of the work.

In my house I have dishes, clean up the kitchen duties. I can’t stand cooking. So when dinner is over, or sometime soon after, I go into the kitchen and get after it. I don’t mind doing the dishes because I know my wife already did the work to make the meal. But in this situation Martha is doing all the work. 

How many of you can think back to a family gathering where maybe you are the one doing all of the prep work, cooking and cleaning while others sit around and chummed it up? (Or maybe you were the one chatting it up (like Mary) while others did the work)?

Evidently Martha had enough of doing all of the work while her sister…and Jesus for that matter, sat comfortably chatting away. I picture Martha starting to grimace as she begins to experience pain in her back, her legs and her feet.

Look what it says happens next:
Luke 10:40 “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do the serving by myself? Then tell her to help me.”

I find her approach very interesting. I would think, if I am Martha, I would subtly say, “Hey Mary, my dear, do you mind coming in the kitchen for a moment?” Then I would let her know how inconsiderate it is of her to not recognize that I am slaving away, doing all this work, by myself, to make a good impression on the distinguished guest, Jesus, and provide him with a nice meal to nourish and refresh him from his long journey. 

No, instead the story says, she bursts into the room, throws her apron and dish towel on the floor, in a temper-tantrum (it doesn’t actually say that), but she probably does enter the room with some seriously frustrated energy, and addresses Jesus instead of Mary, saying “Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me.” 

Martha is seriously perturbed, it is not as if she calmly approached Jesus and said, “Hey Jesus, how’s your tea? I know you and Mary are having an interesting chat, but will you please pause your conversation and help my sister see that I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the work I am doing in the kitchen and that its kind of rude that she seems like she is trying to get out of helping me make you dinner. So Jesus, will you please ask her to come help me?” 

At this point how many of you are saying, “Yeah, this is Martha’s house and there is work to be done, and Mary should get her lazy, inconsiderate (or slacker) tail up to help out? You go, Martha, tell them how rude that is!”

Some other Bible translations say:
“Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all of the work.” NLT
“Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the dishes to me?” MSG
“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” NKJV

As you can probably tell, there is something more at play here. The fact that she directs her comments to Jesus using phrases like – “Don’t you care,” “doesn’t it seem unfair,” “abandoned,” “left me to serve alone,” leads me to conclude that there is something deeper going on here. 

As a side note…these may be some of the same questions you ask God in various seasons of your life.

For all of you here that are in a relationship, like me, you can probably relate to those times when your spouse or partner puts a little bit more zing or intensity behind phrases like Martha did here that clearly indicates that there is some deeper frustration or distress or pain behind what is being said….probably unrelated to what is going on in that moment. Are you tracking me?

[As a quick side note, you notice that she doesn’t ask for Jesus to come help her…..that’s because Jesus is on dishes duty.]

Look at how Jesus responds to her plea for help:
Luke 10:41 “But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things.”
“Martha, Martha” (which in that culture represented a tender reply, probably with a soft, sensitive tone of voice) in another version Jesus says, “you are worried and upset about many things.” NIV

Is Jesus making this comment based on what Martha is saying or doing? 

I think Jesus is using his superhero, God in a bod, mind-reading power, to know exactly what is going on in Martha’s head. He knows there is more to her story then just being frustrated that she was on her own to do all of the work. Jesus is speaking to something deeper, in the core of her soul, her mind, her spirit. 

The word for upset or distracted is way more expressive in the Greek language and means she was deeply agitated, disturbed and annoyed to the point of verbal outburst. In today’s words, she was pissed off.

The Greek word for worried is merimnas, the surface definition is to be anxious or troubled… but the deeper root of the word comes from meris which literally means divided. 

I love what Parker J. Palmer says about dividedness in his book – A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life: “Afraid that our inner light will be extinguished or our inner darkness exposed, we hide our true identities from each other. In the process, we become separated from our own souls. We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the “integrity that comes from being what you are.” 

Jesus goes on to say to her:
Luke 10:42 “but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

In this moment, in Martha’s house, is one of those times Jesus is saying to sit, be still. 

In the Message paraphrase of this verse it says, “One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it, it’s the main course, and wont be taken from her.” As if to say, Martha, thank you for your thoughtfulness in wanting to provide a meal of nourishment for all of us, but the real meal is a spiritual one, which in this moment is the true source of fulfillment that you need. 

This reminds me of another story recorded in the book of John:
After Jesus connects deeply with a broken, lost woman at a well, to help her be released into the fullness of what God is calling her Be, Jesus’ disciples arrive and urge him to eat something, but Jesus says, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:1-34)

To Jesus and Mary, the moment of connection was spiritual food that nourished the body way more than the greatest of feast.
Here is how I would sum up what Jesus is saying Martha (and to us today): Sometimes it’s time to sit with Me, be still, listen, be renewed in the deep reassesses of your soul; and other times, after you have connected with me, it is time to go out and be busy partnering with me to do my work. 

The modus operandi of Jesus is that he is always intentional about his visits and engagements with people. In this moment Jesus is concerned with refreshing the souls of Martha and Mary. Jesus knows exactly what is going on in both Mary and Martha’s minds and hearts in that moment, just as he does with all of us in every moment of our lives. 

He knows that if they can be still in that moment and connect with the God of the universe, and just Be…Jesus can help them begin to live the full life he designed them for.

I define Being as our core identity and life purpose that is derived by being loved and cherished by God, not for what we do, but simply because he created us and loves us, in whatever state he finds us in, because he chooses too. It is not a love that can be earned, it is love that is freely given, because he has the right to love us any way he chooses, because he is God.

Rich used to always talk about “Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing”…Being loved by God and in return, loving God. He created us humans to be loved and to love. First we are loved by God not for what we do, or what we have made of our lives…but just because…because he loves us as his son and daughter. Then we love because he first loved us, as if to say, once we truly experience the love of our creator, then we have true love to pass on.

Back to what Jesus said to Martha, “But only one thing is needed.”
As if to say, “Martha, you are so busy in your mind and your feeling of obligation that you are missing what is most important, your connection and relationship with me.” 

It seems Martha, in her life, had prioritized doing over being, or in other words, her doing defined her being. 

But Jesus’ message to Martha is: Martha, flip this and begin prioritizing Being and everything else will fall into place…creating new meaning and purpose behind the Doing.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” 

I paraphrase this way: Seek to know who God is and He will make everything else make sense. Jesus wants us to find our identity, our purpose, and our direction in Him and then He will make clear the path that He wants us to walk. 

Put Jesus first, then the doing will flow out of who you are in Him.

It wasn’t that what Martha was doing wasn’t important, but in that moment he wanted her to follow Mary’s example, investing her time in listening to Jesus to discover her identity, opening the door to who she truly is and how to live her life more fully. Jesus was encouraging Martha to do what the Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on Me because I care for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

I think if we are honest today, we are all like Martha in some way. I know I am.

Right now, with everything going on around us, many of you, like me, are feeling like Martha did in the moment captured in this story…anxious or troubled…upset or distracted, deeply agitated, disturbed…annoyed to the point of verbal outburst… pissed off…divided in your soul. These are natural emotional expressions that have their time and place, but Jesus comes to each of us today and tenderly says your name (fill in your name)_______, ________, I know you are troubled and disturbed, but chose me as the main thing in your life and I will help you remain sane and guide you toward being the best version of your self for the sake of others. This is what our our communities need us to be right now.

God wants us to live our lives with a clear understanding of who we are and who we are created to be. If we don’t get this right then we will chase things that we think will fill that space in our lives that only God can fill. Once he fills that God-shaped hole in our soul, then he brings out the best in us and helps us become the best version of ourselves. 
He removes obstacles and opens the door. God wants this for all of us.

If we try to draw strength, motivation, value, and purpose from what we do, it will always fall flat. If we instead seek to understand who we are through God’s eyes, then we begin an exciting journey of discovery where God draws out of us, all of the gifts talents and abilities in us.
At this point, when we realize what God desires us to Be, then we can go out and Do whatever God calls us to do.

Martha was focused on doing, Mary chose to focus on being. Being with Jesus. These ladies were deeply loved by Jesus and the Bible identifies them among Jesus’ closest circle of friends and are referred to often in the New Testament. 

Many people ask where is God…Bible, voice, but God is alive in this world partnered with those who are listening to his voice and have open hands to say “Here I am, Lord, send me.” Then those who are served will say, there is a God and I have seen Him in action through His people. 

A life full of Jesus is the most amazing miracle that this lost, hurting, dying world can experience. Let’s keep God’s mission and the mission of the body of Christ, with St Andrew as one branch, in the proper order (St. Andrew’s mission is Connect with God, Grow in Community, Serve the World)…love God, then love people. Without the first, everything else falls flat. They don’t need just us, but the God who lives through us.

People need the Jesus in us that gives us purpose and identity, more than they need the good work that we do for them. Many of you, like me, do to be…instead of of the doing coming out of the being.

As a result, as I serve and support people in the arenas God has called me, I am not just giving them my time, talents and treasure, but a glimpse into the very heart of God; His kindness, love and compassion.

Here are some questions for all of us to consider, to check in on where we are presently regarding Being:

What is it that you are doing and trying to draw purpose from…are you in a place where you can Be?

Is the inner turmoil, stress and divideness keeping you from Being your true authentic self…and being a conduit for Jesus’ love and support to those around you?

Have you created space in your daily life to BE with Jesus? 
[To let His love wash over you, to let Him support you, to let His light shine into the shadows of your soul. So you and I are able to go out…not only giving of ourselves, not only representing the Church or this slice of the church, St. Andrew, but be the very hands, feet, and mouthpiece of Jesus. To support others with the comfort and love with which our magnificent Savior first loved and comforted us each day we are blessed to walk this earth.]

As you go about your day, do you display a disposition of kindness to all those you meet? 

Is Jesus’ love seeping more and more into the core of who you are…so much that when you go about your day people feel better just by being around you?

[The book of Acts says about two of Jesus’ disciples that those who didn’t believe in Jesus were amazed, and could tell that these uneducated and untrained men had been with Jesus. People could see Jesus in them and through them.]

Do people see Jesus in you and through you?

As it is for those of us who get the honor to share with all of you, the messages we share are most often originally intended for us…as is the case today.

My time under the stars, on the dock in Tahoe, was a picture for me in what…just Being…feels like. Free from a busy mind, and a busy life. Providing me a space to just be…to be loved by God, clearing my mind to hear His voice in important areas of my life, and just feeling His peace, His contentedness in that moment. 

As I intentionally created space and time to reflect (in that moment) on where I was in my life, and what is most important to me, I realized that I let busyness (in my schedule and in my mind) get in the way of staying connected to what matters most in my life…my relationship with Jesus. And when I keep Him as the main thing in my life, life has true meaning and purpose, and as a result my doing becomes more impactful and meaningful.

My hope and prayer for us as a community is that we will begin to Be so we are more impactful in our Doing.

I leave you with some of the words from today’s song of reflection:
By Lauren Daigle – Rebel Heart 
Help me lay the renegade to rest
Turn the stone inside me back to flesh
And hold me till my best defenses fall
And watch this rebel heart surrender all.
I give it over to you
Your love is like and arrow, straight and true 
And now this rebel heart belongs to you
Take my life and let it BE…yours.

Amen!!

Closing Song

“Stand in Your Love” – by Ethan Hulse, Josh Baldwin, Mark Harris, Rita Springer

(c) 2018 Be Essential Songs, EGH Music, Gateway Worship Publishing, Bethel Music Publishing – CCLI #885509

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