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This week's sermon:

             Luke 10:38-42  -  What Jesus Saw In Martha
                                
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Some years ago, The Archbishop of Canterbury was rushing to catch a train in London. In his haste, he accidentally jumped on the wrong passenger car and found himself on a car full of inmates from a mental hospital. They were all dressed in mental hospital clothing.

Just as the train pulled out of the station, an orderly came in and began to count the inmates, “1-2-3-4…” when suddenly he saw this distinguished looking gentleman there wearing a business suit and a clerical collar and he said:

“Who are you?” The answer came back: “I am the Archbishop of Canterbury!” And the orderly said: “5-6-7-8.”

The point of that story is this: It is so important to know who we are and who other people are. If we know what makes us tick and what makes other people tick, we get along better. If we understand where we are coming from and where other people are coming from, we relate better. There is more compassion, more empathy and more kindness. When Jesus looked at Martha that day in that emotional scene, he saw some red flags, some warning signals, some danger signs, some destructive attitudes within her which were more harmful to Martha herself than to anyone else. Jesus loved Martha. They were good friends and that day, he saw in her some hurtful attitudes that were working in her like spiritual poisons, petty attitudes, which can devastate and destroy the soul.

Let’s look at these dangerous attitudes which were in Martha. We may find ourselves or someone we know somewhere between the lines. When Jesus looked at Martha that day, he saw deep down inside of her the dangerous attitude of….

 

1. Resentment

2. Narrowness

3. Unkindness

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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....

 

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sermons.com presents Leonard Sweet