Wednesday Word 10.03.2018
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.”
This was always a struggle for me. I grew up with Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping always in the house. By the time Dan and I were together, Martha Stewart had made the big time. I always wanted things to be just right for my friends and family. I took great satisfaction in entertaining with a certain element of style. That stuff doesn’t just materialize, you know. It takes a lot to get it done and done on time. So, I have always been a little resentful of Mary and this story.
We don’t entertain the way we used to back in the day. In fact, I don’t even keep house the way I used to do. But, I think I have a better understanding of this story than I used to have. I don’t think Jesus is suggesting we should abandon all our day to day responsibilities in favor of constant reflection and Bible study. But, I do think he wants us to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves in order to worship and learn. Jesus didn’t get to spend that much time with this family, so Mary wanted to spend every moment possible absorbing all she could from Jesus. Jesus wanted Martha to realize that she should take full advantage of his visit, as well.
We shouldn’t use our love of Jesus as an excuse for letting the dishes stack up, the grass grow rampant and the bills pile up unattended. Brother Lawrence taught us, writing in the seventeenth century, that even every mundane task can be an opportunity for communion with God. But, when the time comes for worship, we shouldn’t let our to-do list come between us and our Lord…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki