Mary or Martha?

16 Apr

At the Home of Martha and Mary –Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 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!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Who are you? Mary or Martha? Scripture tells us that Martha was in the kitchen frantically trying to prepare a feast for her visiting Lord. Imagine spending hours roasting a turkey with all the trimmings, preparing homemade cranberry sauce, fluffy mashed potatoes, stuffing and other side dishes. Oh, and you prepared by hand an amazing from scratch apple pie for dessert. If you have ever cooked for company you know it takes time and energy and then there is clean up time required after the feast is shared. Sometimes preparing a grand dinner requires days of planning and prepping. Martha wanted the best for her guest. (By the way, I used to confuse the two sisters not remembering which was which until I pictured MARTHA STEWART in the kitchen–ha ha !)

Meanwhile as Martha was preparing all that food, her sister was ignoring her pleas for assistance because her preparations for the Lord were different. She prepared her heart and mind for learning and loving instead of preparing the menu.

Neither sister was right nor wrong, they were just being themselves! Each if us was bestowed gifts at birth that God deemed suitable for the women we would become. Like Martha and Mary, some of us are amazing in the kitchen and some are intuitive with people. Some find joy in sharing a meal and some find joy in just being present. No right, no wrong…it just is.

I have a book called WOMEN OF THE WORD by Mary Lou Sleevi. It is a poetic narrative of some of the female featured Bible stories. When the author wrote in her book about Mary she used a perceptive statement:

“Mary of Bethany took her place sitting down [to] listen, learn, reflect on Jesus and his gospel. She broke free to waste time with God.”

I think Mary Lou Sleevi chose perfect words to describe attentive Mary. Her description made me wonder how I go about wasting time and is it ever with the Lord? And is spending any amount of time with God ever a waste?

Food for thought!

(Martha gave us food and Mary challenges our thoughts.)

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