As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42
Does everyone remember this story? Can you see it? I can.
Martha is running around the kitchen, worrying about cook times and when everything has to hit the table. The dishwasher isn’t done running and some of the dishes that she needs are in there. No one has made a salad or chopped apples for her pie. The table still needs to be set and her best tablecloth is still in the dryer.
And her sister is sitting there, reclining at Jesus’s feet, listening as he teaches. But Martha just sees and feels that Mary has left all the work to her and has dropped the ball. Can’t Mary see that she needs help in the kitchen? Doesn’t Mary see that her place is in the kitchen?
But is it?
Maybe Martha was comfortable in the kitchen and the preparations and maybe she could hear the teachings, but she wasn’t really hearing them. She was so busy worrying and rushing that she wasn’t taking a moment to really listen.
I do that; I would rather be in the kitchen, prepping and preparing, than in the main room, where the fellowship is. I would rather stand over a hot stove than listen to my aunts, uncles, parents, whomever, tell stories.
But we need that, because those stories can teach us something. Just as Jesus teaches us that fellowship and listening to others is important.
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed… Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her.”
Friends, let’s take a moment to dry our hands, check the timers on the food and go and sit at the Master’s feet. He has wisdom to impart. The food will be ready and the meal will be served, but the people around us will not be with us forever. Let’s treasure the time that we have.