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Knowing Her Role

• Brianna Millett

Through the story of Mary and Martha, Brianna explores some affects of social norms and encourages each of us to embrace our unique role and mission in the kingdom.

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This weekend, Brianna continued her series about women on the outside, focusing on Mary and Martha from Luke 10. In the story, Martha is frustrated because her sister Mary gets to sit at Jesus’ feet while Martha was busy with doing all the work. Jesus assures her that each is doing her own important job.

Each of us may at times feel this way, like others get to do jobs which seem easier or more fun or more glamorous. This story shows us how when you dig into any person’s role, you will find that each person has their own gifts, strengths and passions, and God uses each of us differently. Every person has their own calling and every calling is important, no matter how mundane it may feel to the one doing it. We should focus on creating our own mission and not compare our job to that of others. Martha’s strengths are different than Mary’s, so they each are exactly where they belong.

Another message that we find in this story is that of breaking social norms. Mary was not doing housework because she was out being a disciple of Jesus. This kind of activity is not at all typical of the first century role of women. Mary is breaking social norms by going out and being a disciple. This is something that Martha feels distracted by and maybe a little resentful/judgmental of. But in fact we should all encourage each other’s unique calling and recognize that it is going to be different for each of us. And moreover, even if our individual calling goes contrary to social norms, we should follow it unabashedly because this is a gift that God has given us. And Jesus shows many times that social norms do not usually reflect kingdom ideals.

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Topics: Calling, Discipleship, Role of Women

Sermon Series: Women on the Outside

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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 10:38-42

    38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

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3 thoughts on “Knowing Her Role

  1. Dave Pritchard says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the last two very effervescently delivered messages but from the Sermon Series Graphic above, I immediately start thinking about the “Woman at the Well” from – John 4:1-45. Hopefully Brianna will cover this amazing chunk of scripture as well in her next installment (?)


  2. David Lawson says:

    Excellent and eye-opening message. It’s mind expanding to think outside of the box of cultural norms and expectations. Thank you Brianna and thank you Woodland Hills.


  3. Bruce Conrad says:

    I love the new perspectives that I get from WH sermons. I’m sorry that the ‘norms’ that Brianna mentions are there (I had to deal with them too). As a man, my perspective is that some of the people are not trying to ‘fix’ you (Brianna), but rather are trying to ‘help out’ their single male friends, as they would see an attractive, christian lady they’d like to hook them up with. I was single until I was 35, and I’m happy to be married, but like she says, some people are happy to be single, and that is fine too. Keep up the fine preachin’.

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