Special guests can bring exceptional messages, as is the case in both scriptures. We find two different cases, but they end up turning on the same axis. Shall it be business as usual, or expecting God's promise to come in a new way?
God's gracious promise and blessing had been given to Abraham and Sarah for a long, long time, but it had not been fulfilled. At a point when both had become too old, they were resigned to going on without the promise fulilled, yet in gratitude for the many blessings that had been given them. Still, God keeps reiterating that pormise of a son to be born to the two of them. Abraham has heard it so much, and realizing his and Sarah's old age, actually laughs at God (Gen. 17:17).
When three mysterious visitors appear, the old promise is given new specificity for fulfillment, drawing laughter from Sarah this time. However, she gets admonished: "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?"
It's a messy time when Jesus and his company decide to stop in at Martha and Mary's home. As Martha engages her role as chief hostess for the guests, Mary focuses her attention on the guests, Jesus in particular. Martha is annoyed by the lack of assistance from Mary and complains to Jesus. His reply that Mary has chosen the better role and that role will not be denied to her is meant to teach disciples that they need to be mindful of God's promise that may be right before them, and making it their priority.
To hear how these stories complement each other and call us to be awake and alert to God's promise and its amazing dimensions, see the sermon video below, and the downloads below the video panel.