Wednesday, February 23, 2022

My Story Matters: Mary of Bethany


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 only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:36-42


Like this home in Bethany where Jesus visited, my home had three children – two girls and a boy.  

Just like this home, no three children could have been more different.  

It’s always odd to me just how distinctive children can be, who come from the same parents, are raised in the same house, under the same parenting styles.  

We already know that Martha, full of good intentions, was a “fixer.”  

Never one to sit still; she actively worked to make things happen, and, as a result, she was easily distracted.  

We know Martha was a complicated ball of commotion, yet unafraid to just be herself; and, Jesus loved her.  

Her sister was a polar opposite.  

Mary was sensitive, intuitive, quiet, reflective, easy-going, and focused; Jesus loved her, too (every bit as much).  

I love that Jesus loves diversity.  

He’s not asking us to be something we’re not.  

However, He does ask us to keep things simple; and to take time, from time-to-time, to be “women of one thing.”  

He says it's the better choice to sit at His feet now and again...

Please take note that Martha wasn’t wrong using her hospitality gifts.  

She simply had taken on too much.  

If she’d simplified, then Martha could have gotten in on the better part of the visit, time with Jesus.  

All our good strivings are often enemy of the better thing.  

Mary’s intuition served her well.  

Somehow she seemed to realize this was a moment that could never be recaptured.  

She knew she needed to glean all she could from the life of her Lord, for somehow, she had a sense that He would not be with them long (we’ll see this more clearly when we look at another snapshot of Mary’s life next week).  

I tend to be of the opinion that Mary realized she needed the words of the Teacher deeply imbedded in her heart for the journey ahead.  

Jesus was not about to rob her of that opportunity.  

Jesus has words for us every day – words for our journeys.  

He knows a visit with Him, through prayer and in Scripture, is the better part of our day.  

Yet, we often are robbed of that opportunity by all our plans, activities, and busyness. 

They aren’t bad things; we aren’t wrong in doing them.  

We simply need to streamline, prioritize, and carve out moments to sit at his feet...  

...let go of the distractions and listen...

Then, and only then, will we be ready to serve Him completely and effectively (we’ll see that next week, too).

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