“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 from her.” Luke 10:41
Who doesn’t love a party?
It was an important day – this man of God, the one everyone talked about was coming to their house. Important religious leaders and community people were expected as well.
Many people and much preparation.
The day arrives, people come, Jesus is talking, teaching.
Sweat beads, runs down Martha’s face as she works steadily in the kitchen.
“Water – I need more water” she thinks, looking around for her sister.
Martha suppresses annoyance as she asks a servant, “Where’s Mary?”
The servant motions toward the main room.
Martha’s gaze settles on her sister – sitting.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Annoyance grows into resentment, anger. There’s a ton of work to be done and Mary is lounging while Martha stresses, handles everything.
Martha quickly approaches Jesus – “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
I feel the frustration in her words.
Wanting everything to be right.
Distracted by all the preparations.
Feeling self righteous.
Too often, I am Martha.
I want communion but don’t have time.
I’m too busy.
Exhausted from doing it all.
Life seems so urgent.
Few things are needed – really, only one.
The ways of God are often counter intuitive.
• Give to gain.
• The last first.
• A king who washes feet.
The world’s pace is fast, noisy.
101 ways to get more things done.
Applause and admiration for doing it all.
Hurry and busy crowd out love.
Love requires the sacrifice of time and activity.
No one can serve two masters.
Am I willing to do less, have less to make room?
Jesus routinely allowed Himself to be interrupted.
He didn’t detour off God’s path yet made time to love.
• The woman at the well.
• The Centurion.
He wasn’t idle but never busy or hurried – He let schedules go to make room for kingdom things.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 1720-21
The kingdom of God now lives in me.
When I choose to stop and love or serve, I bring the kingdom from up there to down here.
I say no to the demands of life to sit at His feet.
Jesus turned the world upside down – He was the opposite of everything the world and religion said He should be.
He ate with sinners, healed on the Sabbath, rejected religion’s rules.
He came to light the way – not conform to what the world thought He should do.
If I am to imitate Christ, I must do the same.
Put aside urgent for important.
Listen and love.
See and respond.
Bend and give.
In the middle of mayhem choose God’s agenda over mine.
Ask for eyes to see and ears to hear – the kingdom often whispers.
Be willing to be inconvenienced and leave things undone.
Understand I will never do things perfectly – including follow Jesus.
Messy, imperfect humans are imperfect and messy.
God’s grace is sufficient.
Strength made perfect in weakness.
Cracked, broken pots reveal light.
I can trust Him to do what I can’t or don’t or won’t.
He loves me as I am.
B.U.S.Y. – Burdened under satan’s yoke – crowds out my ability to love.
Jesus invites me to exchange that yoke for His.
His burden for mine.
Heavy for light.
The world pushes hurry and busy and more.
It feels irresponsible to do less.
I want to be productive, successful, financially stable.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
It’s not about money or success or schedule – it’s about my heart and what motivates my actions.
I can’t serve two masters.
Tasks master the schedule slave.
I double down and work harder – work harder with the idea of creating room and space to breathe.
If I can just get this done I will have more time.
Lie of the enemy.
Shoveling snow in a blizzard.
Frenetic, fruitless faith.
My schedule reveals my heart and who I serve.
Mary understood what Martha didn’t.
The priority wasn’t details or task mastery but resting at the feet of her Savior.
Letting go urgent for important.
More requires less.
I resent the schedule I set – the to-dos seem so important.
I must get things done – life requires it.
Jesus tells me few things are needed – in fact only One.
When I choose to stop and sit at His feet, He takes care of the rest.
Guides my path.
He is faithful to make a way where there seems to be no way.
Where I see wasteland, He creates streams of new life.
I can trust Him with my schedule, bills, responsibilities and work.
Let His kingdom come, His will be done – inside of me.