Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”
Who are you? Are you Mary? Or are you Martha? Maybe you’re a little of both perhaps? Me? I am Martha. I am the type of person that wants to take care of the guests. Make sure they have their beverage, make sure they have something to eat, make sure they feel welcome. I think it’s something I picked up from my Grandma K. years ago.
But what good is all that service to your guest if you aren’t going to sit and visit with them? You’re not going to get much out of their company if they are in the living room and your in the kitchen cooking a six course meal for them. So you have two options: require all future guests to give you a 14 business day advance notice that they are coming over so that you have plenty of time to get the house clean, cook a meal, bathe the kids so they look and smell good, shampoo the carpet, give the dog a bath, clean the toilets upstairs and downstairs (just in case), wax the floor, buy new furniture, wash the windows, borrow the neighbor’s dog if yours isn’t behaving well, you get the picture. Or, you can just accept your guest with open arms “as-is” and enjoy their company.
I really don’t think that Jesus cared just how clean Martha and Mary’s house was in today’s Gospel reading. Mary and Martha of course welcomed their friend Jesus into their home. Martha felt as if she needed to go the extra mile to make sure that everything was “perfect” for the Lord. Who could blame her? Martha probably felt that if Mary would get off her rear end and lend a hand for a few minutes things would go smoother and faster so then they both could be done with their work and sit and visit.
Jesus commends service many times in the Gospels, but as he points out today, don’t sacrifice getting the job done, in place of the Lord. This goes in our everyday lives. What’s more important than time with the Lord in prayer, or in church worshiping and hearing His Word? Is getting your kids to sports practice helping you with the Lord? If they win that big game going to get them closer to the Lord rather than church on Sunday or time in prayer or Religious Ed or Bible Study?
Thought for the day: Jesus says today, “There is need for only one thing”. What is that one thing to you? Are you willing to sit with and listen to the Lord like Mary? Or are you always on the go like Martha?