Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow Sunday July 21st 2013 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “One Thing Is Necessary” (Luke 10:38-42)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you for your prayers and support for our older youth (and myself and Elizabeth Snyder) to attend the 2013 Higher Things Conference in Tacoma, WA this past week (we returned home late last night). We had a fantastic time as our youth attended daily Matins, Vespers, Evening Prayer, and Compline (this last one is a service conducted at 11:30 pm).
I was given the privilege at the conference to present two breakaway sessions. One on Individual Confession and Absolution and the other on the Full-Armor of God (this one was advertised with the intriguing title of what Tae Kwon Do and the Saving Faith have in common)! I am attaching both powerpoints to this email [we will also try to get them set up on our website] so that you can get a taste of what I presented. The highlight for me was preaching on Wednesday. It was exciting to preach to so many youth from all over the country!
Tomorrow in Divine Service at 9:30 am we will consider Luke 10:38-42 on Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha. I feel for Martha, as she gets a bad rap here. I mean think about it: if Jesus was coming to visit your home in the flesh, wouldn’t you be a at least a little mindful of your hospitality?! As a matter of fact, it could be argued — and I will — that Martha was also trying to be obedient to other aspects of Christ’s teaching about how to welcome God’s servants!
But alas, we will see that the Lord had good reason to admonish and correct…we are like Martha and we will be made more aware of our sinful manifestations and be led to the “one thing necessary.” We will also sing a hymn that is dedicated to this theme right before the sermon: “One Things’ Needful” (LSB 536).
After receiving this proclamation, we will then RECEIVE the One Necessary Thing: the Word of Life in, with, and under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins and the powerful assurance that to receive the Sacrament — and to be in Christ and to have Christ in you — is to have the remedy for all that we busy folk (like Martha) struggle with!
What a joy it is to be able to look forward to being fed and nourished once again with that which is necessary to keep our faith in Christ alive as you and I are daily bombarded with the attacks of our own flesh, the world, and the evil one to rob you of faith.
Why church? Simply because the Lord commands it (though that too is a reason)? No, but to be kept alive in the faith…to be kept confident that the Lord is for us and that our sins will not envelope and condemn us; to remain certain that Jesus’ blood covers all your sins and that through this sacred medicine of Word and Sacrament the Holy Spirit is active to impart unto you the peace of God which surpasses all understanding!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow’s sermon:

“One Thing Is Necessary” (Luke 10:38-42)

Rev. Dr. Alfonso O. Espinosa

            Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. The story in today’s Gospel about Mary and Martha with Jesus is very popular and appears to be one in which Martha gets all the bad press. This can be a little confusing. After-all Jesus had already taught in Luke 9 (v 4) and 10 (vv 5-7) that missionary travelers would be provided for by their hosts. In Luke 10:7 Jesus tells his disciples, “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.” It seems that Jesus is basically doing what He taught his disciples to do when we read in Luke 10:38: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.” In effect this was exactly according to script. Martha was doing a fantastic good work. Imagine being able to host the Lord Jesus Christ! To give Him rest, food and drink.


Martha was focused on this task. It was a wonderful task. She wanted to help Jesus. How can this possibly be a bad thing? Not only does it appear that she was being obedient to Jesus’ prior teaching about missionaries being welcomed, she was serving Christ who had said (as recorded in Matthew 8:20) that He didn’t even have a place to lay His head. Martha wanted to make sure that the task of hospitality would be done properly and be made more efficient. She was flabbergasted by the fact that her sister Mary was not helping. There was work to be done. Jesus had taught about this very scenario. It was now their call to be faithful in supporting Him and serving Him. So Martha was bold and interrupted Jesus speaking to Mary and said as recorded at verse 40: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”


Martha had been missing something that is easy for us to miss as well. Let’s back up. There is no question that Jesus taught about how the disciple missionaries were to be received. They were to look for and expect kind souls who would open their homes and replenish them; take care of them and keep them strong in their missionary journey. These people would take care of God’s servants! This is — for example — what all of you do for me here at Saint Paul’s. You provide generous hospitality for me and my family! As a result, I get to conduct what I consider the best work in the world as you, God’s people, bless us in so many ways! It doesn’t get any better than that. However, there is a goal behind taking care of the servants and missionaries of God. That goal is not simply to give you the opportunity to do good in caring for others (which is obviously very important), but there is an even greater goal which is to receive the message of the saving Gospel from those missionary servants of God. Thus Jesus never contradicted Himself.


The disciples were most definitely blessed to have a host take care of them, but even more the host was blessed, because the host was supposed to become a guest; and the guest was supposed to become a host. The missionary would become the host of God’s Word proclaimed in order to feed the souls of those providing lodging and food. That is, the missionary was the spiritual host giving spiritual food; while the person giving lodging was the physical host giving physical food. They would be blessed to receive the missionary by receiving the Word of God from that same missionary. In this way, the Lord continues to accomplish the Great Commission, and equips His Church more and more with the saving Gospel.

Hope to see you in God’s house tomorrow! Invite a friend!
In Christ,
Pastor Espinosa
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.