Martha, Martha, [Jesus answered] you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:41-42, NIV.
On one of their journeys, Jesus and His disciples rested in the home of Martha, whose brother Lazarus was a good friend of Jesus. Martha and her sister Mary, find themselves entertaining a house full of guests, providing a comfortable place where everyone can visit. Not surprisingly, Martha is busily doing what is necessary when feeding hungry visitors; cooking, setting the table, and making sure everyone’s needs get met, while Mary is with the others sitting and spending time with Jesus. Frustrated that she is doing all of the work, Martha complains to Jesus that her sister isn’t helping.
Jesus, knowing Martha’s concerns run deeper than just those of the day, explains to her that she is allowing the temporary distractions to interfere with what is eternal. Mary, on the other hand, chose wisely to spend time with Jesus rather than be in the kitchen.
The first time I read this account, I felt sorry for Martha and wondered why Jesus rebuked her for expecting her sister to help with the chores.
While we may not have Jesus physically in our midst, maybe you and I are not so different from Martha. Do we see our circumstances as chores or as opportunities to serve Jesus? If I face my day with a spirit of resentment and the need to control, then I’m choosing to be miserable which is sure to follow. On the other hand, if I offer to God every situation where I might find myself this day, and realize that serving others is serving Him, the joy and a sense of purpose are endless. The choice is ours!
Will you be “a Martha” or “a Mary” today?
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