“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."
I admit it. These days I am distracted by many things. From xenophobic and hateful comments from the president, to the indefinite detention of migrant children, to the violence and murder in Baltimore city, even down to the inherent chaotic and busy nature of having two small children. I am a Martha among Martha’s, these days.
And honestly, why shouldn’t I be? How can I NOT feel pain at how people are being treated? How can I not be upset at the indifference to the chaos on our borders, the intentional pain being caused border patrol agents and government administrators, the existence and persistence of two Baltimore’s, and the seemingly worsening inequality in our city, in our community?
Does Jesus really want me to NOT CARE about those things?
I hope not. And I hope that you care, and continue to stay invested in the lives of the needy, the lost, the foreigner, the prisoner, the widow and the orphan.
BUT. Jesus doesn’t want you to get lost in those things either. My own passion and desire to make the world better does not come from any belief that I PERSONALLY can impact this world — but faith in the knowledge that Jesus desires a better way for all of us, and calls each of us to play a role in that. Jesus does not call us to worry and stress about many
things - but to focus on the one thing - Making his Kingdom a reality here on earth.
Instead of seeking to go to and fro ‘doing justice’ and wearing yourself out — perhaps you should consider only one movement, to the foot of Jesus. To offer prayers for justice and for equity. And to invite others to that same space with you. To make Jesus the center of that work. To make Jesus the center of your life.
And as you leave that you take Justice with you - so that whether you are protesting DHS detentions, re-sanctify sacred spaces in Baltimore, working for press freedoms, providing health care for the needy, or being a part of our making our justice system more just — you do so with Jesus at your side, and a community of love behind you. A Community represented by Memorial, by the Episcopal Church, and by the whole Church around the world.
Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.