The parable of the Good Samaritan and the story of Mary and Martha are a well known pair. In the first, the lesson seems to clearly push toward serving with our entire being, while in the second Jesus reminds Martha to not serve, serve, serve. So which one is it? To serve or not to serve? Which one does Jesus want us to do? As always, following Jesus is not as easy as it sounds. As soon as you think you've got it just right, Jesus points out that you've missed the mark. Somewhere in between the words of these scriptures, there is a dual truth. Our neighbors in need need our service, but serving does not make us right. There is no moral high ground to stand upon to point out how much more we have done than others. Serving is not something we get to boast of for ourselves. So what do we boast of? Where are we right? Where can we finally rest and sure of ourselves? Only in hearing the word of Jesus Christ who has been merciful to us.
Pastor Lars Olson