Thursday, May 9, 2013
Dennis the Menace said to Margaret, "I wonder what Mom would like for Mother's Day."
Margaret: "Why don't you promise to go to bed when she tells you, keep your room cleaned up, eat your vegetables, brush your teeth, and wash your hands before dinner?"
Dennis: "No, I mean something practical."
Another Dennis with the last name Miller, who may be the last honest-through-humor-that-sticks-in-the-knife-of-truth-and-twists-it-before-ya-know-what-hit-ya commentator on the decline of American civilization from the left or right, has observed, "The relationship between mothers and children never changes; and that's because no matter how rich or powerful you are, your mother still remembers when you were 3 and put Spaghetti-Os up your nose."
I always feel guilty on MD because I am.
I haven't always been the best son; and there's something kinda superficial - and even more sickening, labored, and tired than those sermons using M-O-T-H-E-R as an acrostic to esteem 'em - about saying nice things about our moms that should be said on more than one day a year.
Getting back to feeling guilty which usually happens when we are unless we're related to Woody Allen, I always feel guilty on MD because I haven't spent it with my mom for over 4 decades; which, sadly, corresponds to starting seminary.
If I have to explain that sense of guilt to ya, ya probably wouldn't understand or wanna understand anyway; which may be my only lingering bitterness and resentment about my Beruf.
Getting back to MD which I haven't in an incarnational kinda way in over 4 decades, I recall the story of the little girl who says to her mom, "Today is your special day, Mother! So I want you to know that you won't have to do the dishes today. They can wait until tomorrow!"
It reminds me of something else that lots of moms don't wanna hear; but is really important for anyone's salvation including moms.
It's the story of Martha and Mary having Jesus over for dinner (Luke 10:38-42).
Here's the story; using the wonderful translation with amplifications of The Voice: "Jesus came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home. Her sister Mary, went and sat at Jesus' feet, listening to Him teach. Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements."
I see a bad moon arisen'...
Back to the script, Martha interrupts Jesus, "Lord, why don't You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me."
Psst. I think that's the sanitized revised version of what she said.
Now here's where Jesus gets into trouble with lots of moms and, uh, people like moms who are really, really, really anal about protocol/tradition/duty/busyness while forgetting Jesus is God and knows what really, really, really matters in the end: "Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won't take it away from her."
I see a bad moon arisin'...
Fortunately, Luke ends the story with that quote; which, if you catch Martha's drift, was probably prudent.
O.K., remember Jesus is God - not just another guy.
He knows what's best for us - female and male - now and forever.
He's, uh, God.
So we gotta go back to the story and pay attention to it/Him.
Jesus did not say anything negative about what Martha was doing.
Somebody's gotta handle the details.
Buuuuuuut Jesus was saying it's best to hang out with Him.
Martha was doing something good.
Mary was doing something better...best.
Martha was doing something fixed in time - making a meal that goes in one end and comes out the other.
Mary was doing something that lasts forever - soaking in Jesus.
Oswald Chambers: "Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work."
Don't substitute a superficial religion about Jesus for an intimately personal and saving relationship with Him!
Martha's religion about Jesus was good.
Mary's relationship with Jesus was better...best.
I just couldn't face another MD with one of those M-O-T-H-E-R...
Blessings and Love!