The Mary Moments
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42
Night and day, it’s Cinderelly
Make the fire, fix the breakfast
Wash the dishes, do the mopping
And the sweeping and the dusting
They always keep her hopping
She goes around in circles till she’s very, very dizzy Still they holler “Keep a-busy, Cinderelly!”
Boy, I imagine these lyrics to Walt Disney’s Cinderella sound a lot like what Martha might have been feeling that day in Luke chapter 10. Martha’s busy doing a plethora of things alone in preparation for a feast with Jesus that causes her to be troubled, worried, and frustrated. Hmm, I am curious does that sound familiar to anyone? Isn’t that just like us sometimes? So much to do, not enough time or help? Leaving us feeling empty, run down and tired? As the holiday season is now upon us, it is definitely a time that we can easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything going on. I mean, let’s be real it’s not that hard to do when we live in a culture that sets unrealistic expectations on how to achieve the “perfect” holiday season that is social media worthy. The pressures on to perform now, so we set out to meet these unrealistic expectations by filling up our schedules with something every day of the week. We have 5 different holiday parties to shop for and attend, 3 family gatherings to cook for, don’t forget family photos, oh and Christmas presents to buy and wrap, the monthly service project we signed up for, and on top of all of life’s regular demands. No time for rest. Just go, go, go, and do, do, do are the sounds of living in a “Martha world”
So, let’s take a closer look at our key verses and see what we can learn from Martha and Mary. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” (Luke 10:40) Like Martha when we are overwhelmed and exhausted with the busyness of serving it can cause our attitudes to take a detour south. The fruit produced from operating out of a state of anxiousness brings about frustration and steals our joy and peace in present moments. There is absolutely nothing wrong in working hard for Jesus – in fact, that is good. The problem happens when we become distracted with much serving, because it actually causes us to be distracted from Jesus. We can learn a valuable lesson from a moment Martha had here. You see, when Martha took her eyes off Jesus, she became irritated and frustrated in all her efforts to serve Jesus and she began to criticize her sister who she thought wasn’t doing as “much” for the Lord as she was. We must not get so focus on our works for the Lord, but instead stay focused on who we are working for. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Mary made a priceless choice to step away from all the noise and get still before the Lord, and for that she was commended. Like Mary we must make the choice to find time daily to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. That time of sitting at the feet of Jesus is an act of worship unto Him, and it’s in that time of worship that Jesus says we receive the good portion. (Luke 10:42) That phrase “good portion” in the greek is “chreia” it means, we receive such things as we need for sustenance and the journey. To supply what is absolutely necessary for life. The time we spend with the Lord is extremely valuable to us. It is in time that He supplies us with what is necessary. It’s just like, our cars need to be refueled to get us to the next place. Our spirits must be refueled to journey on. In His Presence, at His feet, all the things we deal with in our “Martha World” like the fear, worry, stress, anxiety, sickness, and the feeling of heaviness has to go. Our “Mary moments” allow Him to adjust our focus on what is necessary, good, and pleasing to Him. Like Mary we need to be able to discern when to serve the Lord and when to sit with the Lord.
As this holiday season unfolds and things ramp up remember that Jesus longs to be gracious to you and show you compassion (Isaiah 30:18) He rejoices over you with gladness and quiets you with His love. (Zeph 3:17) He is the source of encouragement, peace, joy, patience, love, grace, and mercy. Let this holiday season look different than the ones before as we take and apply what we have learned from Martha and Mary. When we start to feel frustrated, overwhelmed or even disappointed may we run to the feet of the One who can lift our head and give us what we need to continue forward.
Oh, that we will be children of the Lord who find “Mary moments” in this “Martha world.”