11 April, 2011

One Thing?

There is a song done by the group Finger Eleven, titled "One Thing" that I love. It is not a Christian song, but I have, since the first time I heard it, thought and sang this song as a Christian song. 
The words to the chorus go like this:

If I traded it all, if I gave it all away,
for one thing, just for one thing.
If I sorted it out, If I knew all about this one thing
wouldn't that be something?

In Luke the 10th chapter we find the story of Jesus going to the house of Mary and Martha. While Martha was busy preparing the meal and other things about the house, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his teaching. Martha got upset that she was doing all the busy work, while (in her opinion) Mary was being lazy. Jesus told her that she was worrying and fretting about so many "things" but that there was only "one thing" that was needed, and that Mary had made the right choice. In fact, he said that Mary had chosen that which could not be taken from her.  Let that sink into your heart.

I'll probably find myself in hot water over what I am about to say, but hey, what else is new?

As pastor, I have people who will call, text or message me on the computer all the time, especially this time of year, apologizing for missing service because (choose one) "It was such a nice day that we had to clean the yard/get the garden ready, decided to have a family cookout/dinner, went to the lake/for a drive.  I could add countless others, but it is always something that had them "too busy" to come to church, be it  on Sunday or Wednesday night.  First, I always tell people, "you don't owe me an explanation." It is not like my understanding/approval makes it all ok, or vice-versa. Let me be clear, and I stress this to my church folks all the time, there are times we all need to miss a service. In fact, I missed this past Wednesday night myself. It happens.  
We must ask ourselves, "is this something I need to do? Am I choosing what is best for me?" I am not meaning to sound harsh with my next statement... but the fact is, if you knew that you had made the right choice, you would not feel compelled to get the approval of Pastor for what you have done.  It seems almost like going to the Pope asking for indulgence. You don't need the approval of pastor or anyone else, but ask yourself, why are you seeking it?

Go back to the words of that song...
What if we traded "it all" gave up everything else for that "one thing"?
What if what really mattered most, was drawing closer to God, drawing from the teaching of the Word of God?  Notice, I did not say "going to church."
We can get so dogmatic and legalistic about church attendance that it is nothing more than religion which binds us up. I'm not talking about that.  I'm not talking about missing a service now and then. But I am talking about when we are so "busy" that we have to find time to squeeze in a worship service or Bible study.  We can even "think" we are doing a good thing... even a God thing... but be missing what is best for us. 

Think about this story in Luke 10 again. Both were in the same house, where Jesus was. Martha was doing all the "stuff" that she thought was "for Jesus"  but Mary stopped, stilled herself and sat to listen. Jesus commended Mary for doing the "one thing" that was needful... the thing that would benefit her most... that which could not be taken away from her... the teaching of the Word of God.  Martha was doing the busy work, doing it for the son of God... but Satan stole her fries... because she was bitter inside because she was doing all the work while Mary sat.

Sound familiar?

I've probably made someone mad today... and I'm fixing to make them madder.
Going back to that song, there is a bridge in the song that says:

Even though I know,
I don't want to know
Yeah, I guess I know
I just hate how it sounds

Deep inside, we all know it. (Be honest... you know it... you just hate how it sounds!)
We know that we need to stop the busy work, still ourselves and listen to the teaching of Jesus. But it ticks us off when we've been busted.
Usually when someone gets mad, they choose to stay home again... or leave the church... and they let Satan steal more of their fries.
One thing is needful. 
But will we choose that one thing, or to choose the busy things that rob us?


Anonymous said...

So my fam is not serving God if we stay home and spend together instead of going to churhc? Maybe this is why we stay home because we don't need you or church for god to love us. You do you and let me do me and we will see who is right in the end. What a dick.

Darrell said...

Well, I really don't think I need say ANYTHING in response to that post to defend myself: do I? lol

Gayle said...

I think "anonymous" must have had ALL their fries sotlen. That's very sad because it's obvious they didn't understand a word you wrote. Get your fries back "Anonymous"! Your attitude will certainly improve!

Great points Pastor. The best topic of all time! So very relevant!

NicoleSkysFamily said...

I was just talking to my sister about something similar to this on Sunday. I have been talking about going to church but I never actually 'find the time' to go. It's a tiny bit harder to go somewhere when your other half doesn't exactly believe in the whole church scene. (and I know that is why people who aren't the same shouldn't get married..unevenly yoked or whatever) So anyway..I told my sister that I wanted to go like 10 minutes before we needed to leave. I asked her if she thought that I was stupid for making the split decision to go and she said something that kind of has stuck in my mind.."Go because you want to don't go just for something to do." I am definitley not perfect and you said a lot of things on Sunday that pertained to me and how I life my life...and I don't know the next time I will make it to church. But I feel like you said, if I were to feel guilty about it..I probably should take it up with God. Not you.

And as for anonymous..You spending your time with your family is your business. Besides, you can always do a family Bible study on a Sunday morning instead of going to church :-P Also..If you felt compelled to write the Pastor a message maybe you do care what this dude has to say hmm? Just sayin!

Darrell said...

Hey Nic, I hope you did not take my meaning to be that I don't care and that you cannot talk to me. That's not what I meant at all. What I was talking about was people trying to get the approval of man to "get them off the hook." Further, in my thinking, if they are seeking my approval so that all will be ok between me and them, that just is not necessary. That's all I meant.

NicoleSkysFamily said...

Oh yeah I get what you were trying to say =-)