Sermon Transcript – Hell’s Kitchen

Series C – Ninth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, July 17, 2016 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:28holy Gospel According to Saint Luke
0:31chapter 10 verses 38 through 42.
0:34now as they went on their way when Jesus
0:37entered a village and a woman named
0:39Martha welcomed him into her house and
0:42she had a sister called Mary who sat at
0:45the Lord’s feet and listened to his
0:47teaching but Martha was distracted with
0:50much serving and she went up to him and
0:53said Lord do you not care that my sister
0:55has left me to serve alone tell her to
0:58help me
0:59but the Lord answered her Martha Martha
1:03you are anxious and troubled about many
1:05things one thing is necessary Mary has
1:08chosen the good portion which will not
1:10be taken away from her
1:12in the name of Jesus
1:15kitchens are dangerous places for me
1:20I see what goes on in kitchens I’m
1:24and at the same time I’m painfully aware
1:26that I’m in the way when my wife is
1:29cooking doubly so when we have company
1:32coming for dinner
1:34now my imagination in case you haven’t
1:37figured it out is quite well intact so I
1:40can actually imagine how crazy it would
1:44um if I told my wife that hey honey
1:49I don’t know how to break this to you
1:51Jesus is coming for dinner on Thursday
1:55okay I can actually see what would
1:57happen all right let me explain to you
1:59how I picture this in my imagination
2:04breaks clean and scrub and dust the
2:07house day
2:09now I’d be called upon to repair that
2:11loose towel rack in the bathroom touch
2:13up a few places in the house with a
2:15little bit of paint
2:16and that would take pretty much all day
2:22well that would be the finalizing of the
2:24menu day
2:25followed by lots and lots and and lots
2:29of shopping
2:30oh on top of that my wife would insist
2:33that we begin to think about what it is
2:34that we’re going to wear we might have
2:36to pick out some outfits it might
2:37actually require us to go to the mall
2:39and get some new clothes right in fact
2:41I’m pretty sure Barb wishes I had one of
2:43those dinner jackets like the men wear
2:45in Downton Abbey
2:47all right on top of that I would get
2:49sent to Sport Clips to get a haircut and
2:51have them shave off those embarrassing
2:53neck hairs that make me look like Fred
2:55Flintstone every month right
2:57Wednesday the day before Jesus arrived
3:00cooking now Begins for the more complex
3:02parts of the menu including the dessert
3:04our daughter as much as I love her I
3:07know exactly what’s going to happen to
3:08her she’s going to be scolded for doing
3:10a half-hearted job on her run through
3:12the house with the vacuum she’ll end up
3:14having to do it twice
3:16tensions in the house will reach an
3:18all-time high
3:20Thursday the day Jesus shows up for
3:24dinner right
3:25the day begins at the crack of dawn the
3:28beverages are cooled the house has gone
3:30through one last time and the kitchen
3:33turns into a high anxiety work Zone I
3:37section it off with police tape lest it
3:39turn into a crime scene right
3:42the breads are being baked the soups
3:45temperatures being closely monitored and
3:47the salad okay we won’t talk about the
3:50salad things are not working out with a
3:51salad at the moment okay the China is
3:54pulled out the table is organized
3:56pristinely Faith takes a photo of our
3:59perfectly set table and posts it on
4:03Facebook and Pinterest with the
4:05underlying caption Jesus is coming for
4:09right clothes are ironed in press and
4:13that stupid mirror now I call it the
4:16stupid mirror now let me explain what
4:17the stupid mirror is you ever seen those
4:19mirrors that are circular okay and they
4:22can flip right one side everything looks
4:25great the other side magnifies
4:27everything okay you could see every zit
4:30every blackhead every out of place hair
4:33it’s awful I hate the stupid mirror okay
4:35but the stupid mirror for Jesus is a
4:38time at our house is consulted
4:41and well every out of place eyebrow hair
4:45is plucked nose hairs are tweezed out
4:48painfully I might add and then comes the
4:52obligatory standing in front of the long
4:54mirror with rehearsals of my greeting
4:57and Barb’s greeting of Jesus hi Jesus
5:00it’s so nice that you would come to our
5:02house welcome come on in no that was
5:04two-step let me try that again okay you
5:07know how this is going to go right
5:09every item every course of the meal
5:12everything that we’re going to drink
5:14every piece of clothing the music that
5:17is playing gently in the background on
5:19my Apple TV it’s all designed to impress
5:23Our Guest
5:25so when we finally hear the doorbell
5:27ring Faith Barb and I have a little
5:29huddle our hearts sink a little bit and
5:31we say to each other it’s showtime
5:35and we’ve put on our best smiles
5:37and we open the door
5:40do you see the problem
5:45do you see the problem there really is
5:47one this is the scenario that we see
5:50playing out in Our Gospel text this
5:52and it comes right on the heels of the
5:55story of the Good Samaritan where we
5:57learn that the law
6:00does not indeed it cannot give us the
6:03power and the freedom to love God
6:05with our whole heart yet alone love our
6:07neighbor as ourselves and this is going
6:10to play into today’s Gospel text it’s
6:12not an accent that the Holy Spirit
6:14inspired Luke to put this immediately
6:16after the parable of the Good Samaritan
6:18and in fact I’d like you to think about
6:21that a little bit
6:23so our text begins as they went on their
6:25way Jesus entered a village a woman
6:27named Martha welcomed him into her house
6:30she had a sister called Mary who sat at
6:33the Lord’s feet and listened to his
6:36teaching but Martha was distracted with
6:39much serving
6:42which kind of begs the question
6:43distracted from what I want you to think
6:46about this okay we’ve had scenarios like
6:48this in all of our families right
6:51where people are working and somebody’s
6:55and the text says that Martha is the one
6:59who is distracted
7:01are you kidding me shouldn’t the text
7:04say that Mary was distracted I mean
7:07after all Mary wasn’t lifting a finger
7:10to help Martha she was just sitting
7:13there listening to their guest doing
7:14nothing all the while the bread was
7:17burning the soup needed to be tasted the
7:19noodles were getting soggy and the salad
7:21fixings were still not finished being
7:23chopped and the text actually has the
7:25audacity to say that Martha was the one
7:28who was distracted
7:30clearly Luke got the details of the
7:33story wrong surely Luke meant to say
7:36that Mary was distracted not Martha
7:42well that’s how Martha saw it
7:45and what happens next
7:48is unbelievably it’s it’s crazy in fact
7:52if he were to have a photograph of this
7:55and turn it into a meme and post it on
7:57the internet it would have hashtag fail
8:02under it here’s the reason why
8:04she went up to Jesus
8:07and she blurts out Lord do you not care
8:10that my sister has left me to serve
8:12alone tell her to help me
8:15let me paraphrase that don’t you care
8:18how is this fair I’m doing all the work
8:21while my sister’s sitting there on her
8:23lazy rear end doing nothing this food
8:27isn’t going to cook itself you know
8:28Jesus why don’t you tell my sister to
8:31stop being so selfish and to get her
8:33lazy good for nothing carcass in the
8:36kitchen where it belongs and I’m sure if
8:38you have something to say to her you can
8:40say it after dessert and before she
8:42begins helping me clean the dishes
8:44they’re not going to clean themselves
8:46either are they
8:52foreign we’ve all been there when this
8:54has happened
8:58but see here’s the thing who’s she
9:00talking to
9:03who is she trying to impress
9:08you can almost hear the awkward silence
9:10that followed that tongue lashing
9:13so think about it
9:15there is the guest that you’re so busy
9:17trying to impress with all of your
9:19serving there’s your sister who you
9:22think should be helping you impress your
9:24guest sitting and listening to your
9:26guest and get this truly enjoying his
9:30so the person you lash out at
9:34is your guest
9:39oh and your guest also happens to be God
9:42in human flesh
9:46what is going wrong here why is this
9:51text making the hard-working one look so
9:55awful and out of touch with reality
9:59this runs contrary to all of our
10:03why is the one sitting doing nothing not
10:07the one being scolded why is the busy
10:09one who’s doing something looking so
10:14I mean that’s not how religion’s
10:16supposed to work right everyone knows
10:18that I work hard to clean up my life
10:21obey the ten commandments so that I can
10:23impress God with my good behavior and my
10:26moral Improvement and those people who
10:29come to church and hear the message but
10:30never apply it as vigorously as me well
10:33they have no chance in a thousand years
10:35of ever impressing Jesus the way that I
10:37impress him right
10:41Jesus you need to tell those lazy good
10:43for nothing people who are poor excuses
10:45for Christians to get busy they need to
10:48volunteer at church they need to stop
10:50watching TV maybe they need to give up
10:52playing cards or wasting their weekends
10:54at the lake they need to join me in my
10:56service that I know impresses you
11:02see Martha wanted to please
11:05Jesus she wanted to impress him with her
11:08house and her award-winning dinner she
11:13to serve him with her very best and yet
11:17it all failed miserably it literally
11:21blew up in her face
11:25she wound up scolding Jesus and being
11:28angry and upset with her sister
11:32she wasn’t loving God with her whole
11:36and she clearly was not loving her
11:41as herself
11:43so the Lord answered her Martha
11:48you are anxious and troubled about many
11:52but one thing is necessary Mary has
11:55chosen the good portion which will not
11:57be taken from her
12:00yeah she was occupied with many things
12:01when only one thing was needful she was
12:04busy preparing an award-winning dinner
12:06that Jesus actually would have been
12:08content with Pizza Hut being delivered
12:11that day that day
12:15why is that
12:18the answer is simple
12:20Jesus didn’t want Martha’s service
12:23Jesus wanted Martha
12:31so as far as Jesus was concerned
12:34Martha’s house could have been in
12:37she could have gone to Sam’s Club and
12:39bought a cold cut platter and some
12:43What mattered most to Jesus was that she
12:45have communion with him
12:47that she hear his word
12:52and let me remind you
12:55when it comes to our justification
12:57Jesus doesn’t need your service nor does
12:59he want it
13:00he wants you
13:02he has Heaven and Earth at his beck and
13:05all Jesus has to do is say the word and
13:08ten thousand upon Ten Thousand Angels
13:10will attend to his needs and fight for
13:12his honor and his life
13:14what can we give God that God does not
13:16already have
13:18Jesus did not come to seek your service
13:22in fact Jesus explicitly says this in
13:24Matthew 20 verse 28 the son of man came
13:27not to be served but to serve and to
13:31give his life as a ransom for many
13:34Martha is the way of the law
13:38Mary is the way of the Gospel
13:41Martha is about Works busyness the
13:43treadmill of self-righteousness that
13:46ultimately leads to utter frustration
13:49hatred of God and hatred of other people
13:53Mary is about faith and freedom trust in
13:57Jesus freedom to sit at his feet and to
14:00take in his word Martha seeks to be
14:03justified by her works of service and
14:06ends up frustrated and angry you can
14:11literally say all of her efforts were
14:13spent working in Hell’s Kitchen
14:18Mary on the other hand is justified by
14:20grace through faith for Jesus’s sake
14:23literally sitting at the Gates of Heaven
14:26hearing the voice of God
14:29she does nothing but to be given to
14:31Jesus does everything
14:35Martha Martha you are anxious and
14:37troubled about many things
14:39one thing is necessary
14:42what is that one thing Jesus is the one
14:45thing that is necessary Jesus is the one
14:48thing that is needful
14:50and for us to hear him and hear his word
14:54you need nothing else except for Jesus
14:58in fact
14:59this theology is consistent in Scripture
15:03to the churches in galatia the Apostle
15:05Paul had some very harsh words
15:07because they had mixed works and Grace
15:10they had mixed together what Christ had
15:13done and mixed it with
15:15self-righteousness and works in order to
15:17be saved and the Apostle Paul rebukes
15:20them and he reminds them
15:23in a way that almost sounds like the
15:25playing out of Mary and Martha in
15:27theology listen to what he says o
15:29foolish Galatians you can say o foolish
15:32Martha who has Bewitched you it was
15:35before your eyes that Jesus Christ was
15:37publicly portrayed as crucified so let
15:39me ask you this did you receive the were
15:42the spirit did you receive the Holy
15:44Spirit by works of the law by working
15:47hard in the kitchen to impress God
15:50or by hearing with faith like Mary
15:56are you so foolish having begun by the
15:59spirit are you now trying to be
16:01perfected by your amazing meal
16:07did you suffer so many things in vain if
16:09indeed it was in vain does he who
16:11supplies the spirit to you and works
16:14miracles among you do so because of your
16:17amazing soup
16:19or because you sit at Jesus’s feet and
16:21hear with faith
16:25just as Abraham believed God and was
16:27counted to him as righteousness so know
16:30then that it is those of Faith who are
16:32the sons of Abraham
16:36are you tired
16:39are you worn out
16:42are you frustrated
16:44are you angry with God and your neighbor
16:48are you tired of trying so hard to
16:52impress Jesus with your changed life and
16:55your good behavior
17:00I mean you work really hard at it right
17:02and you sit there and you wonder at what
17:05point am I going to get the blessings
17:07that I have earned I am really trying
17:10really hard
17:14keep it up
17:16your frustration level hasn’t hit the
17:18right level yet
17:19you need to be more frustrated more
17:22tired more uncertain
17:24more anxious more upset more distracted
17:30and as your frustration and anxiety
17:33grows I will point out to you again
17:36Jesus says come to me all you who labor
17:39and are heavy laden and I will give you
17:43all you’re striving is for naught the
17:46Salvation is free it’s a gift why are
17:49you trying to earn it why are you
17:51working so hard to keep it
17:54it’s already yours
17:58you are not here today by the way to
18:00serve Jesus with your worship or to
18:03impress him instead Jesus is here
18:06actually to serve you
18:08he was here this morning forgiving your
18:11sins and the words that you heard in the
18:13Absolution he’s here right now giving
18:15you his word as you sit at his feet
18:17listening and in a few minutes
18:20Jesus will be the host of The Lord’s
18:22Supper as he feeds you his body and his
18:25blood given and shed for you for the
18:26Forgiveness of your sins
18:28so sit
18:31enjoy Jesus
18:34Marvel and revel at his word
18:37glory in his Mercy
18:40give thanks for his grace
18:42Wonder at his compassion and his
18:48be humbled by his love for you
18:51he truly offers you peace and rest you
18:55don’t need to impress him he’s already
18:57washed away your sins and the Waters of
18:59your baptism and he’s clothed you with
19:01his perfect and sinless righteousness
19:03doesn’t get any more impressive than
19:07he doesn’t want your service he wants
19:10and he came to seek and save you
19:15he has given his life as a ransom for
19:17your life
19:18in other words your slavery has ended
19:20the work day is over
19:22enjoy your Sabbath rest in Jesus he
19:25promises that it will never be taken
19:28from you
19:29in the name of Jesus
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