I keep thinking about Mary and Martha, you know those women of the bible, who resemble any of us out there? They are two of Jesus’ closest friends. Their brother was Lazarus. This isn’t about his story though- maybe another time, because it is a pretty good one. The story I keep being reminded of is the one about these sisters, when Jesus came for supper. It’s probably in my mind because the Holidays are inching their way in faster this year than the last. Maybe it’s God’s way of reminding me to slow down and focus on the “better part”. How do you handle the Holiday Season? I am already starting to go into “hyper mode” of making lists and buying gifts and planning meals…
Before we are completely bombarded with the checklists and errands and busyness of this time, may I remind you of Martha?
It kind of goes something like this: Martha is busy and stressed out. “How am I supposed to do it ALL! Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to get some help around here?” And Mary has sat down at His feet to chill with Him. “Oh Jesus, you are so awesome! I love hanging with you and listening to all your cool stories…it just gives me so much peace.” (Insert ‘angelic smile’ here)
Remember those women? Martha was scurrying in the kitchen and frustrated that Mary wasn’t helping. She complained to Jesus (can you imagine?) that her sister wasn’t helping, and Jesus told Martha that Mary was choosing the right thing to do. Mary was with Him. I actually love the story, because it resonates so intimately with all of us…doesn’t it?
I am the first to confess that I have never, ever made a turkey in my life of 46 years. I confessed this little scam last year. I am ashamed and sorry for all you women who hate me now, (yes, all you Marthas…I know you are out there!) but it is what it is. I have a sister who started a beautiful tradition of doing all the work every darn year. How can I take that blessing away from her? Or any family or friends I have shared a Holiday meal such as this? It’s just who I am. It’s my way of giving. Yes, that is sarcasm.
I tend to watch my lovely cooks juggle things I could never imagine. I eat all the appetizers and “ooh and aaah” over their dishes cooking and keep them company. I often throw out that polite, “Can I help?” And then I meander around the kitchen looking for something worthy of my irresponsible hands. I become lost and confused, so I resign to going back to my post of eating and watching, wandering around visiting and enjoying the aroma of the home…
When I host a gathering, I scurry around and serve and cook and clear plates and do dishes and serve some more and and and… sometimes truly missing out on the great conversation that is taking place while I busy myself in the kitchen. I always consume myself with all the details of the “serving” and hardly ever sit to enjoy the moments with my friends or family. Yes, things need to be done in order to provide a lovely meal. So how would I go about doing both?
I want to embrace the relationships and not the busyness.
But most of all…
I want to embrace His Holiness and not the craziness. As things start to get at a hyper pace around here, may I be reminded of Mary, and sit at His feet and spend time with my Lord.
Thank you for the reminder God. I will do my best…
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).