I think most days I am Martha. I strive to be more like Mary, but in reality I am a planner, a fixer, a producer, a worker, my list goes on and on. I have a to do list. I want to get in a walk. I want to be at work early. I want to get home at a decent time. I want to read a good book. I want to have people over. My to do list is never ending. Where does being more like Mary fit into my day?
Luke 10:38-42 tells us a familiar story about Jesus stopping to visit two sisters, Martha and Mary. As Jesus arrived, Martha was distracted by all the preparations and called on Jesus to tell her sister to help her. But Jesus doesn’t do as Martha is asking. He says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Now many a message has been taught about the value of Mary as a model of reflection, a model of contemplation. You know the argument. Martha labors on and on, but it is the contemplative one, Mary, whom Jesus honors. BUT, It’s important here to remember that both of them loved Jesus. And more importantly, Jesus loved both of them. Martha was busy preparing for Jesus to arrive and have a meal, and she was worried about her sister’s lack of help. But what Jesus really wanted for Martha was for her to find that her worries and troubles were pale in comparison to the new life and relationship with God available to her through him, Jesus Christ.
That’s what Jesus wants for you and me, too. On this occasion they were both loving him but Martha was so busy she didn’t realize she was actually not choosing the better way. Often I don’t choose the best way either. I need to be reminded and reading this scripture story reminds me.
I’m asking myself these questions – are they for you as well?
Do I take time daily to read the scriptures so I can be reminded?
Am I so busy doing things for the church or Jesus that I’m not spending time with him?
What clutters my life that I could abandon to spend more time with Jesus?
What is the better part and how can I get it?
Ok, put down the Bible and go do it!
by Mary Vinson