Posted by: TLC Fellowship | February 4, 2013

Thoughts on Bethany

By Sonia Jordan, Member of TLC Fellowship

38 While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. 39 Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. 40 But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.” ~ Luke 10:38-40

I once heard a sermon about Jesus traveling to Bethany to the home of Mary and Martha. The sermon said this was a place where he found solace and could sit among friends peacefully. To me that meant he went to a place where he could be loved unconditionally.

Of course there is much talk about the issues between the sisters — Mary sat at his feet and listened while Martha labored and prepared food for his enjoyment — but that is not my focus here. When I heard the sermon I focused on the minister’s rendition of how Bethany was a place where Christ found comfort and peace–all worries and strife were left at the door. My—that sounds like a wonderful place to visit!

I believe we all need a Bethany in our world.  We need a place where we can go to rejuvenate, be embraced and, feel not only loved, but not judged–a place where true love abounds. I also believe this place should be we where we worship.  Can you think of a better location? Where we worship is the one place we should be able to count on not being judged and being loved unconditionally. Not loved because we always adhere to the dress code and not because we are church leaders or sing so beautifully with the choir, just loved, simply because.

So I ask myself–am I Mary or am I Martha? The answer is simple—I need to be both. There are times when I need to listen and there are times when I need to labor and provide food (the Word).  Ultimately, it seems that the responsibility for creating a Bethany belongs to all of us.

As I write this I wonder if Bethany should just be within the confines of a building. Maybe this wondrous place can dwell within our hearts as well.  Our motto (“Where you won’t be judged—but unconditionally loved.”), says we already practice the Bethany concept at TLC. So what if we extended that practice everywhere we go? I wonder just how easy it would be to make room for creating a Bethany within our hearts to share with others. I think I’ll start working on that in my life.

Prayer: Father God I come to you with a humble and convicted heart. Please keep me mindful of how I treat others. Help me create a Bethany within my heart where I am loving others and not judging them. Forgive me if I have faltered. Thank you Lord. In Jesus name I offer this prayer. Amen.

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