Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 37 and Luke 10.
The last five verses of Luke 10 introduces us to two sisters, Martha and Mary.
…Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 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 10:38-42)
It’s Monday. The beginning of a hectic workweek for most of us. We’ll breathe the air of a noisy, interrupting, high-octane culture whose heroes are the highly-effective. We’ll be reminded throughout the week that the “valuable” are the busy, the “appreciated” are the constantly connected. The more productive you are, the more “important” you must be.
Without a doubt, disciples of Jesus should be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). But I need to remember these two sisters throughout the week. My hunch is you need to remember them too.
Martha “welcomed.” Wonderful. Martha was willing to apply herself to “much serving.” Excellent. But Martha also got “distracted.”
Mary on the other hand? Mary sat. Many would describe that as lazy. But Mary wasn’t zoning out with a TV or a smartphone. Mary was sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to his teaching.
There’s a time to diligently apply ourselves and get work done, no question. But could it be that many of us will be “anxious and troubled about many things” this week because we’re neglecting “the one thing” that’s really “necessary”–a personal relationship with the Author of life (Acts 3:15)?
Mary chose. The “good portion” is always a choice. The choice to sit down and feed my heart with God’s word. The choice to shut the door and set my mind in prayer. The choice to tune out the temporary and lift my soul in worship. This portion–the best portion–can’t be taken away from the disciple of Jesus.
Martha got distracted. Mary chose to sit, listen, and absorb. Cutting through the noise, purging the non-essential, and focusing on what really matters continues to be a choice.
In a world that is anxious and troubled about many things, may we choose wisely this week.