Written by: Rachael Keefe

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

It’s easy to get lost in the tasks we have in front of us. They often become more important than our reasons for doing them. Likewise, we can be overwhelmed …

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

It’s easy to get lost in the tasks we have in front of us. They often become more important than our reasons for doing them. Likewise, we can be overwhelmed by words and information and stop really listening so that we respond to events more emotionally.

All the varied responses to the Zimmerman verdict have made me wonder where people were getting their information – on both sides. The media had such influence in this case from the very beginning. And this week I read a lot of impassioned words and calls for action on both sides. On the positive side, some people will follow through and work to further civil rights. For others, the words they posted on Facebook will be the only action they take.

Last week the Good Samaritan passage indicated that eternal life has something to do with loving and merciful actions. This week’s text tells us what must inform those actions. Too often we become disconnected from the reason why we do what we do. Martha may have had this problem. She might have forgotten that all things did not have to be so completely perfect that she did not have time to spend with her guest. Her cooking and preparing had become the activities in and of themselves; she had forgotten why and for whom she was engaging in them.

Now I find myself asking what words, what information most often informs my actions? And then what actions do I take? and are they meaningful for anyone? What I take away from Mary and Martha this week is that if I want my life to be loving and merciful rather than filled with empty words and actions, then I need to spend more time sitting at Jesus feet and listening.

2012-10-05 15.51.53

RCL – Year C – Ninth Sunday After Pentecost – July 21, 2013

Amos 8:1-12 with Psalm 52 or
Genesis 18:1-10a with Psalm 15
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42

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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

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