Essential Matters

Hey, are any besides me still trying to regain their bearings in a post-COVID world?  Many of you are dealing with the same types of restrictions, having the same types of thoughts, and what I really want to know is what people think of masks and hydroxychloroquine.  (Just joking of the “really want” part.)  Opinions are more plentiful than apolitical answers.  But in an election season which seems to have begun right after the 2016 election, everything is political.

I’ve jumped into the E-Learning on two different platforms.  I’m sympathizing with Americans who are struggling at home, struggling as parents, struggling to work, struggling without work, struggling to keep their home when they are without work… and realizing deep in my soul that this whole thing is unsustainable.  We can’t keep doing this for very long before it breaks the spirit of humankind.

And I’ve been thinking.  Dangerous, I know.

What I’ve been thinking about most is “What makes something essential?”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes essential (n) as “1: something basic; 2: something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable.”

Hmmm.  I don’t think God sees “essential” the same way as Merriam-Webster, Uncle Sam or whoever’s defining it or running your government in your state or nation.

In one of my favorite passages of Scripture, Jesus spells out what is essential.

“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’  ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed– or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42)

Did you catch it?  “Indeed only one.”  That sounds essential to me. 
But maybe it’s more than essential because it’s enduring. 
“It will not be taken away from her.”

Much of what we’re considering essential can be taken away or has been.  We can find ourselves with no food, no home, no freedom, no peace, no safety, no church, no school, no hospital rooms, or heaven help us … no mask … when the store sign says “No mask. No entry.”

How upside down!  What is essential in Jesus’ eyes is knowing Him because that relationship will endure.  Martha’s preparations and meal-planning worthy of a TV show “Near East Woman” or an Ina Garten meme, will disappear as fast as men once the meal is over and there are dishes to be done.  It’s not that Martha’s work wasn’t of value– its only fault was that it was of this world.  Mary’s work of knowing Jesus lasts into eternity.

So, when faced with a world of lootings and shootings, learning by zoom and retreating to inner rooms, all of this will pass, but one thing is needed.  One thing is essential.  One thing is life or death.  Only one will last.  It will never be taken away.  It’s an anchor for your soul in the storms of life.  Jesus is essential, even more as the Day of His Return approaches.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 23, 2020

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