"But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better,
and it will not be taken away from her."
- Luke 10:42
Hello to the faithful five that always read my blogs! Sorry it has been so long since I have written, but life has been a little crazy lately with school ending, the death of my beloved uncle, starting an internship at Cross Church Fayetteville, and cheering on my sweet boyfriend in the College World Series! Over the past couple months God has been chiseling away at me to make me better equipped to share His Love and Promise. It hasn't been the most pleasant experience at times, but I hope to soon share with y'all what I have learned.
Today, though, I'm not going to get quite that deep. Instead I want to share what I feel like God has been putting on my heart the past couple of weeks. Therefore, I want to look at a short bible story that is one of my favorites found in Luke 10:38-42. In case you don't have a bible nearby I'll type it out here:
(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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
So this story has three main characters: Martha, Mary, and Jesus. Let's start with Martha. I'm sure many of us girls, or women I should say since I will be 21 this October (wow!!), can be both sympathetic and empathetic towards her. In fact, some may have had to read it twice. Did Jesus really tell Martha that she was wrong for preparing, cleaning, cooking, and serving? Are those not characteristics that make up a majority of the Proverbs 31 woman?! Next we have Mary. She didn't really do much. At all. She sat and listened. Last we have Jesus, who we know is perfect, so there must be a reason he praised the listener rather than the server in this scenario.
I picture it happening like this:
Jesus walks in the door. Mary stands there wide-eyed, with her mouth wide open (hopefully free of drool because nothing would be more embarrassing then drooling in front of our Lord!! ha!). Martha runs to greet Jesus and ushers him in apologizing for "the mess" and then rushes off to the kitchen to finish preparing food. Jesus props himself on a table and Mary follows him and sits right in front of him still wide-eyed soaking in everything he had to say. It's not every day the Savior of the world is within arms length. The rest of the story needs no explanation. Martha does a pretty good job of expressing her annoyance with her sister.
Now I don't attend a Christian University and have not taken any bible classes, but I believe the issue here that Jesus was concerned with was the issue of the heart. When we are in Jesus presence and he is trying to teach us are we too busy preparing and trying to make everything perfect, like Martha? Or do we take time to stop and spend time with Jesus and soak in his glory like Mary did? Are we taking time to sit at Jesus feet gain something much more precious and valuable then a spotless house or perfect meal will ever be?
If this story were written today, I wonder if there would be added characters to the scene. I've noticed recently that sometimes I catch myself not necessarily being a Martha or a Mary but a ... Jackie. I love people and I love the Christian companionship and social gatherings that a church family provides. The bible HEAVILY encourages fellowship among believers. But it is also important to not get caught up in the "social responsibilities" of being at a church gathering and miss the whole point. I wonder if the story were in today's time we would read about a separate room full of Jesus loving women that were too busy talking with one another to sit at the feet of the Son of God and soak up his wisdom and love?
So let's make a conscious effort to avoid being a Martha (or Jackie) when entering the presence of God. Let's strive to be Mary's!