Here’s a new song for y’all:
Here is the backstory:
38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Martha and Mary. Mary and Martha.
If you’ve ever read this passage or heard a sermon preached on it, then you probably feel like you know these women. Maybe you even identify with one of them. Or both of them. I can certainly say I have, at times, identified with them both.
Sometimes we get really busy with the “work” of Christianity and we totally identify with Martha. We spend our time doing the “stuff” that needs to get done so that others can sit at Jesus’ feet. We prepare the food, do the clean up, sing the songs, pay the bills, scrub the toilets, wipe the noses. And we tell ourselves that it’s ok because we are serving others. We’re getting down on our hands and knees and metaphorically washing their feet.
This is ok. Martha wasn’t any less of a follower of Jesus. She was trying to do the right thing here. She was trying to serve. Serving isn’t bad. It’s good.
But there is something that is better. And in this particular passage Mary had chosen the better part. To sit at Jesus’ feet.
Were there actual, real physical things that had to take place in order for everyone to eat? Yes. If everyone sat at Jesus’ feet and listened would those things still get done? Yes.
Imagine, if you will, a world where everyone sits and listens to Jesus and then when He is done speaking, EVERYONE gets up and helps prepare dinner.
I know, I’m blowing your mind right now.
The problem is laziness. The other people sitting and listening to Jesus don’t want to prepare dinner so Martha sacrifices her own needs in order to get it done. Don’t you think she wanted to just sit and listen to Jesus speak too?
One thing I know for sure: I have to be careful to get the order of service correct in my own life. Be Mary and THEN Martha. Make sure I choose the better part of sitting and listening to Jesus FIRST, then I can go about doing the “work”.
Marthas of Christianity, hear my plea, put the dishes down for a while. Go sit and listen to Jesus and realize that if the work doesn’t get done IT WILL BE OK. That’s the hardest part. The realization that it will be ok.
Jesus told us not to worry about this stuff in Matthew 6. Here’s what it says:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Fellow Marthas, we need to stop worrying so much. We need to trust God even in the little things. Let’s choose the better part.