Mary v Martha

Posted: July 27, 2010 in Batteries Not Included
Tags: ,

The ideas behind this post materialized, oh, a few months ago, but I never got around to writing it down. In fact, I have a lot stuck in my head that I need to dig out. My problem is, I don’t want to write until I’m ready to publish, and then what ends up happening is the perfectly good idea sits and festers in my mind, eventually turning into rot.

So from now on, when I get an idea, I’ll write a skeleton post, save a draft, and work on it when I have time.  Sounds good, no?

Back to Mary and Martha:

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Which one are you? Are you a Mary, or are you a Martha?

For those of us who serve in church, we always try/want to do our best, because when Jesus comes back, we want to be called the good and faithful servant. And we try to encourage others to serve with the same passion/fervor, because that is what we’re called to do, in response to the love that God has shown us. But do you ever feel like your passion and fervor may have become misplaced?

Take for example a marriage, where the husband is always working hard, because he loves his wife and wants to provide her with the very best. Or maybe it’s the wife that’s in question – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the spouse in question becomes so engrossed in serving the other, that in the process, he forgets about the person he is trying to serve. He will spend countless hours on the computer, looking up information that she may need for her gardening project, but when she tries to engage him in conversation, he can’t spare 5 seconds to look up from the laptop to acknowledge her presence in the room. What is he serving, then? His misguided efforts to please her? Or the object of his love? Maybe what she really wants isn’t your help on the computer – maybe all she really wants is you.

In the same way, we may sometimes become so engrossed in our services in church, and end up completely forgetting the One whom we serve. We will run around, busy as a bee (or as a Martha) and completely forget to spend time with God, whether in prayer or in reading His Word. And when we *do* finally get around to spending time with Him in prayer or in reading the Bible, it is done as a chore, as a responsibility, and not as an act of love. Do you want to have a lover who will do a lot of “work” for you, but when it comes to times of intimacy, will sigh out of resignation, lie down, and say, “Ok, fine, let’s get this over with..”?

Or we can sing at the top of our lungs when we “worship” in front of a large crowd, but when there’s no one around to see and hear, you’d prefer singing anything else but songs of worship. Isn’t that something like the lover who worships and adores you in public, when all eyes are on the two of you, but when you are alone with him, he pines only for other loves?

People who dismiss Christianity as just another religion – and an extremely hypocritical one, at that – are missing the whole point. It’s not about religion. It’s not about ritual. It’s not about getting dressed up in suits. It’s about love, love, love, and many of us don’t get it yet.

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