Every Day with God

Mary, Martha, and Me

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[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ooking at the story of Mary and Martha I see what can be instinctive in me. For those who don’t know the story – Jesus is having dinner with two sisters; one of whom is willing to listen to Him (Mary), and the other is more concerned about catering for the guests and getting everything prepared (Martha). Martha suddenly turns on them both in a tirade that to some might sound familiar, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

I see it like this; there is a line between me fulfilling my responsibilities and letting my responsibilities fulfil me. In the story of Mary and Martha we see that Martha has chosen to let the responsibilities and perception of her preparation define her evening. Mary on the other hand gets it and decides that she just wants to sit at the feet of Jesus. She wants to engage, listen, and be filled by Jesus’ words which are eternal life. It’s so easy to take a dig at Martha because ‘who wouldn’t want to sit with Jesus?’ – I catch myself drifting into that hypocrisy sometimes. Do you?

So, what was Jesus’ response to Martha? “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.” Jesus praises Mary for her obedience and sensitivity to the situation. She perceives that Jesus has some important stuff to say. On the other hand Jesus calls Martha out and sets her thinking straight.

I’ve made the mistake of thinking that God is not interested in the menial details of my day to day life and that he just wants to fulfil my calling, you know, the big stuff. This is so untrue, firstly, because personal holiness is at stake –being made like Jesus. Secondly, because God cares about how He is represented here on the earth. This has required me to reevaluate the weight of importance that I’ve placed on certain aspects in my life – even my dreams. It can be deceiving to place these goals and dreams on pedestals. They become daunting if not balanced with the reality of Christ.

I’ve realised how important it is to start every day in earnest prayer. It makes it easier to face each task and responsibility seeing them as opportunities to manifest the Fruit of the Spirit. Instead of seeing these smaller day to day details as obstacles I can see them as opportunities that will sharpen me and draw out responses of someone growing in holiness.

On the flip side I know people who constantly let the menial details of life define their outlook and behaviours like Martha did at the meal with Jesus. I am guilty of having done the same, but I believe strongly that this is not a correct or healthy approach to living. Much like Martha, I might have stressed or even snapped back at someone in an unforgiving moment, but Jesus wants me to bear my responsibilities with joy and grace (which He provides if we ask Him). He wants me to receive faith and be filled in order that I can give. What I’m saying is that Christ wants to be ‘all in’ with us. He invites us to sit at His feet and let His perspective become our perspective.

A verse that has always stood out to me is this: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”

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