Hey, want to go to a dinner party? We have an invitation to sneak into one from a long time ago and get some behind the scenes exclusives. They even wrote about it in Luke 10. We’re supposed to RSVP to Martha…wait, isn’t that Mary’s sister?
Martha and Mary have been the subject of many a discussion in the church. Usually, Martha comes off as the person with the compulsive cleaning issues, and Mary is the one who has it right, hanging out in the living room with Jesus. Before we go any further, let’s review the story.
(The nice folks at www.Biblegateway.com have it online for us, and here is the story in the NIV. It can be found in Luke 10. )
38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.
39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. 40But 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, 42but only one thing is needed.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Anyone who knows me and has been to my house would probably fall off their chair laughing to think that I would ever have a day where I might even consider identifying with Martha.
I mean, I’ve always pictured her as home-ecky becky in the flesh, probably even the queen of clean for her block. The original Martha of high standards before Ms. Stewart and her magazine came along.
Ask my friends, they’ve never accused me of that, thus the laughter mentioned above. (Don’t get me wrong, I would like to be supernaturally gifted with some super hero-sized homemaking skills for my super-sized family, and I’m working at it, but progress is slow.)
Okay, I’m getting off the subject…
When I read the story again tonight, it doesn’t really say what she was doing, it just said she was distracted by all the preparations that needed to be made. And then Jesus told her she was worried and upset about many things.
Being super cleaning lady I may not be able to relate to, but distracted, worried and upset about many things are totally my world some days. (Oh, and by mentioning this to her, Jesus is also implying that He is not one of the things she is distracted by.)
You know what, I don’t want to be the poster girl for being distracted, worried, and upset about many things. It seems like all of these little worries that I let eat away at my peace each day are keeping me from being like Mary. Sitting in the living room, hanging out with Him.
I have to admit, part of me does say, well, if I’m not worrying about all of the little things, then who will?
And, part of me wonders what Martha did next. Did Jesus use a tone of voice with her that was smiling and inviting her over to the party? Did she leave her tray of radishes shaped into roses half done on the counter and go hang out with Jesus? Did she feel the burden of having to be the perfect hostess/person lift off her shoulders that night?
What I want to take away with me this week is the reminder to put Him first, before anything. To go back to His Word and sit at His feet before I even get my day started. Instead of hitting the ground running in the morning, to stop and hang out with Him for a while. Not because it’s a chore or because I feel guilty if I don’t, but because He wants me to be there, He looks forward to it. He can’t wait for me to put down my rose-shaped radishes to spend some quality time with Him.
How cool is that? The creator of the universe wants to hang out with me…and with you. Because that’s fun for Him and He loves us.
Move over, Mary, here we come!