As I strive to release my inner Martha and embrace my inner Mary, one huge distraction stands in the way—my cell phone. For years I have been encouraging my kids to let go of their dependence on technology. Yet somehow I have managed to ignore my own advice and have become addicted to that little screen; I glance at the phone on and off all day long without even realizing it.

When my cell phone died recently and I nearly fell apart, it became strikingly clear that I needed to step out of the world of virtual reality and back into the tangible world of three-dimensional reality. How could I recognize Jesus with my nose constantly buried in my cell phone? In order to set aside my Martha-like worries and distractions so that I could embrace my Mary-like attention to Christ, I needed to turn off my cell phone.

So, I have begun a new spiritual practice called cell phone sabbath—time to intentionally turn off my devices and be present with those around me. Perhaps you or those you know could also benefit from a cell phone sabbath. On our journey into a deeper experience of faith, may we set aside our worries and distractions. May we unplug from technology and plug into God by sitting at the feet of Jesus.

God, help me to embrace a regular practice of cell phone sabbath so that I can be more fully present in the real world rather than getting lost in the cyber world. Help me to turn my attention to you so that I will be able to recognize your gracious presence in all that I do, in all whom I meet, and in all that I perceive. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 10:38-42

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Lectionary Week
July 15–21, 2019
Scripture Overview

This reading from Amos provides more indication of the reasons for God’s coming judgment. Too many in Israel have been oppressing the poor. They cannot wait for religious festivals to end so that they can make more money through corrupt trade, including what we now call human trafficking. If we understand the psalmist to be David, the warning he issues in this passage concern Saul. Because Saul has turned to evil, God will not allow him to remain in power. While God is love, God also sometimes brings judgment. The author of Colossians extols the elevated status of Christ, who has reconciled us to himself through his death. In Luke, Mary prioritizes spending time with Jesus, while Martha focuses on working for Jesus. It is Mary who receives Jesus’ praise.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Amos 8:1-12. Who in your community has been left behind in the famine from hearing the words of the Lord? How can you care for them?
Read Psalm 52. How do you remain rooted in God’s steadfast love when you cry out against injustice?
Read Colossians 1:15-28. What do you need to let fall away to reveal the mystery of Christ in you?
Read Luke 10:38-42. How do you focus on Christ even as you attend to the necessary tasks of daily life?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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