Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
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.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I’m a reformed Martha.
There are so many “Marthas” in the church today. Marthas can be men or women -dedicated servants who can be seen performing multiple duties and tasks. Tireless (probably exhausted) people who are the ones we go to when we need to prepare for Sunday morning service, teach bible study, volunteer for the youth group, empty trash cans, or whatever the task may be that helps the church function. Many Marthas work behind the scene where their impact is rarely noticed.
But don’t think the “Marys” of the church just sit around and absorb Jesus all the time, leaving all the work to the Marthas.
It’s not about the work. It’s about the focus. What do we focus on when we carry out our Christian work? Is it Jesus? Is He why we work? Are we expressing our love to Him through the multiple tasks we perform?
Do we love Him enough to sit at His feet and ask Him what He would have us do?
Or are we taking on “works” that seem important enough to our egos so others can see us “working for the Lord” but then get angry because these same folks we are trying to impress don’t seem to be working as hard (or don’t care that we are)?
Surely we don’t accuse them of being less dedicated, less of a Christian… How many of us have prayed and asked the Lord to “show them the error of their ways” not knowing the moments they’ve spent at His feet?
Mary did the right thing. Her focus was on her Savior. She took the time to listen. Her time was well spent. I’d like to believe that afterward, she got up and did “thus sayeth the Lord”.
When I started in ministry, I was Martha through and through. I was frustrated, angry, disappointed, and exhausted. I was a pain to be around. I thought I was working for the Lord but I was “self” employed. And I hated hearing the scripture about Martha and Mary.
Finally, when I got tired enough, I sat at Jesus’ feet. And He was still ready to whisper in my ear.
When He was done ministering to me, I got up and went to work. And I was smiling.
Have you taken the time to listen to Jesus? Or are you “self” employed?