Sunday, March 6, 2016

Martha and Mary

     Luke 10: 38-42.  "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 the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
      “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “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.” NIV Translation

     This passage has always been somewhat of a stumbling block for me because I desire to be a Mary but when there are people to take care of I find myself being Martha too much of the time.  I sometimes have been resentful of others around who have not helped me. 
     I have always wanted to ask the Lord--"Then who is going to prepare your meals & take care of the details involved in hospitality if everyone is sitting around?"  Have you ever thought that about this passage? 
     Well, yesterday one particular word jumped out at me when I was reading it in the NIV Translation. "But Martha was distracted by all the preparations."  I realized if she was distracted that means there was a specific purpose she had set her mind to, but then her attention was drawn aside to other things.  Since we are told to "seek first the kingdom" (Matthew 6:33) it is pretty clear from what purpose she was distracted.  That's why Jesus said "Mary (who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said) has chosen what is better."
     Martha was about 'her' business while Mary was about 'the Lord's business.' If Martha had sat at the Lord's feet as she wanted would He not have helped her to see and do the things she needed to do in His time?  The things Martha was doing really weren't important to Him at the time.  How often I have desired to sit at the Lord's feet in contemplation but have been distracted by my idea of all the preparations that had to be made when it really wasn't God's timing for them to be done right then!  Instead He was wanting my full attention and devotion so He could teach me to rely upon Him for guidance about when to do whatever was needed.

    Help me, Jesus, to remember there is only one needful thing--to sit at your feet and pour out my love.  And thank you, also, Holy Spirit, for clearing up this passage for me.  I desire to seek you (and your direction) first so that all other things may be added in the right sequence and order.  Remind me, Lord.

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