It seems like old words are taking on new meanings. Or perhaps there is greater significance of the meaning of the old words. One word that seems to be repeated often in press conferences, conversations with neighbors, and is of increasing importance to business owners is the word - essential. For the business owner, the meaning of this word impacts whether or not the business needs to shut down or if it can stay open.
This has caused me to reflect on an encounter Jesus had with two sisters as he helped them weigh out what is truly essential. The story happens when the sisters are adults, but it seems like they are reliving some of the "sister-love" they shared with one another in their younger years. Sisters have a special relationship. Perhaps you can identify. Sometimes you are the best of friends, and sometimes, well, let's say breathing the same air in the same room seems to cause an allergic reaction in behavior towards one another. We join the sisters during one of these times.
Jesus observes their relating with one another and is finally dragged into the middle of their "sister-love" squabble by one of them asking him the question - "Jesus, don't you care that my sister is not doing her share of the work? Tell her to help me!" "Sister-love" on display in the finest.
It's in Jesus' answer that we find Jesus definition of what truly is essential. Not in the context of whether or not a business needs to shut down or if it can stay open, but rather in the context of one's relationship with God. The Message gives us Jesus' answer with these words -
Luke10:41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”
Essential. Mary has chosen what is essential.
So today, in this world that we are living in, what would Jesus say is essential? Perhaps, these days, you are finding that what you thought was really essential, may not fit the definition that Jesus was using to help the sisters work through their relationship struggle.
How has your list of essentials changed? What was on that list a month ago? What is on the list now? Which list is more like the definition Jesus used in his conversation with the sisters?
I am convinced that this is a wonderful time to allow the Holy Spirit to look at our definition of essential within the context of our relationship with Jesus. And in so doing, we will find our times of communing with God deeper and richer than we have ever experienced before. I don't know about you, but this is what I desire.