Friday, April 5, 2013

Luke 10:38-42

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”

The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Poor Martha gets such a bad rap. But you know if Jesus and his disciples came over for dinner you would be busting your tail to get out the best meal possible, on the best dishes possible, in the cleanest house possible. And you know that if your sister just sat in there with Jesus while you did all the hard work you would be ticked. I mean, doesn't Mary know that Martha would love to be in there doing nothing, too? If Mary would do her share of the work, maybe they could all have a little Jesus time! She must have seethed for a while before finally confronting the insensitivity being shown. And she must have been shocked when she was the one whose work was found lacking.

As a doer and a bossy older sister, I feel for Martha.

Of course Jesus and the disciples needed to eat. Jesus had said that the workers were worth their wages and encouraged the disciples to eat at the houses where they were welcomed. So what was the problem? Martha was so focused on the preparations that she felt were important that she missed the most important thing of all - the words of Jesus.

Every day I find myself distracted by the urgent. I take too little time for what is important. I rush my children to our next destination instead of squatting with them to marvel at a mushroom or butterfly. I push my daughter to finish her schoolwork and miss time snuggling in a chair with a book. I stress over putting the healthiest food on the table and forget to relax with may family, taking time to share about our day. I jump up in the morning and get started on my "never done" list without taking time to hear God's voice and seek his will for my day. I become overwhelmed by all the things I think I need to do and am paralyzed, unable to do the things I really should do. At the end of the day I take stock and realize that I have accomplished almost nothing. I didn't take enough time to truly hear his voice.

Mary knew that hearing Jesus' words was the most important need of her life. Jesus recognized this when he reminded Martha that while her time was taken up with many things, only what Mary had chosen was necessary. Jesus knew the importance of the spiritual over the physical - taking time to fast and pray, discerning who to heal and who to pass by, and choosing where and how to best spend each day of his lfe. We can only know what truly needs to be done through communing with the Father on a daily basis. But nothing, no matter how pressing or important, should take our focus from Christ.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  - Matthew 6:25, 33-34

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