“Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.’ The Lord said to her in reply, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.’”(Luke 10:38-42)
Today’s scripture was written for me and always speaks directly to my heart! I remember hearing this passage for the first time as a very young girl. As the oldest child in my family of seven siblings (the first six of us are only eight years apart!), growing up I often found myself trying to help get things done. Sometimes my sisters and brothers didn’t see things the way I did, didn’t see the necessity of getting things done in the order and in the fashion I knew they needed to be done.
One hot summer day I had a huge argument with my sister, who could well have been cast as Mary. She thought spending time indoors with our grandmother was more important than getting the chores done, meals started and the garden weeded before it got too hot! I was MAD and certain that my way was the right way; the only way! Then my mom showed me this passage. Mom explained how ill my grandmother was and how much she needed what my sister was giving by spending time with her. That day this message came to life for me and became something I’ve tried to improve in myself since.
I can’t promise that I have put away my Martha traits! But this passage reminds me that the Lord loved both Martha and Mary. Both had purpose and ability; both were needed in the work of building His kingdom here on earth. There are Marthas and Marys around us each and every day. My hope is that the Marthas and Marys in our lives recognize each other and learn to love and support each other’s work in a better way every day.