Together we seek the lost, love the hurting, and disciple believers to do the same.
WE INVITE YOU TO COME AS YOU ARE.
Sunday Sermons at 9:30 am
Bible study and fellowship opportunities following service.
Essential Rock Church & Friends,
Leaders at Essential Rock Church will be sharing and posting a daily encouraging faithful comment and prayer. Please enjoy!
“Duty to Service or Duty to Serve”
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 all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” And Jesus said to her…”Martha, Martha 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.”
We have all read this scripture and the short story behind it at least once, if not many times. I’m sure we might find ourselves in agreement with one or the other sisters in the account.
As the story goes, Jesus on His journey to Jerusalem, decides to stop in the village of Bethany and was invited to have supper at the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary whom all were very aware of Jesus and the miracles He was performing in the region.
In Martha’s mind, this was a grand and momentous occasion to put on! Martha seemed to be a kind of over controlling “nervous Nelly”, that focused on what she thought was needed to be done to pull off the perfect party. I’m pretty sure she was seen as the go-getter who got things done! She would have been considered corporate material today, future CEO of a large progressive corporation blazing new and greater innovations for our future! To boldly go where no CEO has gone before!!!! sorry…I got caught up in the moment…
Mary on the other hand, seems to be the attentive one, possibly polar opposite. I bet that was a challenging living arrangement between the two of them. Well save that story for another time.
I can see her hungry heart and soul longing to hear, embrace, and consume every word that Jesus spoke. He had the words of life….real life….fulfilling life. She knew and witnessed on several occasions His life changing miracles and saw His true compassion for the people. She didn’t want to miss a moment with Him, so she decided to forego the dinner prep, which I’m sure Martha handled on a daily basis anyway. (Poor Martha, I feel like I’m picking on her).
So here is Mary sitting on the floor at Jesus' feet taking in every word He speaks as if He was breathing new life into her heart and lungs. Ever gone to a concert, conference or retreat and came out just fired up for life?! You went into it hoping and anticipating something good, but it energized and encouraging you beyond what you thought possible? And in the middle of it you had this overwhelming desire to give back to others what was given to you. You met strangers who became your brothers and sisters and possibly life long friends. The Holy Spirit moved so heavily you felt you could love anyone and give whatever you had and was moved to do so and in this story, so was Mary and she did with her most expensive perfume that was said to cost at least a year’s wages (see John 12:3-5). She served God Himself, right there in that room and poured every drop of that perfume on His feet, which I believe represents every area of her life and she gave it all to the Messiah, the Christ and God of all creation. And in the midst of Mary’s epiphany of receiving Jesus as her Savior, Jesus looks at Martha with such love and compassion and says, ”Mary has chosen what is better and it will never be taken away from her.” I believe Jesus was extending a hand and saying to her….Martha, come join her and receive true life in me.
Can you picture it?! Martha was so tied up with the daily ritual of activity at home, community, church function, committee meeting, and so on, that she was missing the point. She didn’t see the richness and necessity of spending time at the feet of Jesus. She was too focused on all the things and services of life that she felt need to be done but not serving the one true God who saved her life. We all get tied up in knots doing service to duty but we don’t spend the time we need with Jesus, serving Him.
I once heard one of my favorite authors and Pastor Chuck Swindoll the founder of Insight for Living Ministries state many years ago, that I believe sums up many areas of our lives… He said, ”The urgent is always clawing at us, digging and scratching for attention and demanding our time, while the important sits and waits patiently to be noticed”. That my, brothers and sisters, is truth to be reckoned with. So I ask you and myself…. Are we signed up for duty to service or duty to serve? I believe Jesus' message in this story is this….You can’t be an effective servant until you spend time serving at Jesus' feet and learning of Him first. Once we learn to do that on a daily basis, then we’ll be empowered and given the wisdom, Godly wisdom, for the duty to serve.
Pray with me,
Father, this message you brought us in Your Word is so needed to be understood. You care so much for us to help us overcome our struggle with daily life and to be filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding and wisdom. But we can only succumb to that peace by taking the time out of our busy days and lay at Your feet in total submission to You so to regenerate and empower the calling You’ve placed on our hearts. We ask for your favor and blessing to open the eyes of our hearts and see You in everything and experience the joy, true comfort and blessing of embracing the important, which is time with You. Thank You Father, for Your mercy that is given abundantly. We pray in the life changing and powerful name of Jesus our Messiah….and all God’s people said…Amen
It’s Time To Regather!!!
Phase One Safe Practices for Essential Rock Church - Opening May 31st:
(All efforts will be made to provide a health safe church but health safety can’t be guaranteed)
Every Effort Will Be Taken To:
- Provide a safely sanitized Church
- Protect children with no Sunday School, just yet
- Protect babies by offering no nursery, just yet
- No weekday/weekend ministry groups will meet in this phase at Church.
- Masks are welcome and highly encouraged, but not mandated. (Those concerned are encouraged to take in our livestream until they feel safer)
- Families are invited to sit together. If needed, chairs can be separated, also, distant rows can be added for separation.
- Rubber gloves are welcome as well
- We request everyone follow safe separation (distancing) policy recommendations.
- No live communion temporarily during phase one. Please partake at home, or bring your own elements from home and partake during our livestream communion time as an individual or family at church. (Phase two will have individually wrapped/sealed communion elements for people to use).
- No passing of baskets for offering. They will be set out for people to make their tithe and offerings.
- No paper bulletins handed out. You can print your own from home before church, plus preprint your sermon notes to bring.
- Those with health concerns, risk factors, or living with those who do, are encouraged to stay home.
- Someone feeling sick or with a temperature above normal must stay home.
- Hand sanitizer is placed all around church
- No hand shakes or hugs
- Please bring your own Kleenex as we don’t offer shared use for now.
- Services will be purposely kept to 60 minutes or less to minimize gathering interaction time.
- Church will have a 2 day non-use rest period after Sunday services to allow any active virus to expire on most surfaces before cleaning crew volunteers clean.
- We will be omitting snacks and coffee bar until further notice. Feel free to bring your own coffee/tea!
We ask people to follow CDC recommendations and watch local and state guidelines as well.
Their is no pressure or judgements made on when you return. Seek God and be led by the Spirit as you individually, or as a family, decide when to return to live group church services. Our live-streaming is now a regular ongoing option for all.
God Bless Us As We Worship Our God!!!
If you happen to miss church, you still have the option to give. Click the picture to give tithes and offerings. This will direct you to our main campus, Christ the Rock Church. You can give with or without a login. You will need to enter amount and campus, Essential Rock Church. Thank you for being faithful stewards with what the Lord has given you.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
2 Corinthians 9:7