Company is coming. There could be many at the table. No one knows the number. All they know is that Jesus is coming. They will arrive any minute. There is so much to do.
Is it really so hard for us to imagine this day?
"While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord's feet and was listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, "Lord, don't You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand." The Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42
For me I see a humble home. Designed to be comfortable and inviting. A home that is open to all and filled with love. I can just envision a home where something good is always brewing. There's always a cool cup of water waiting for those who arrive unexpected. I see flowers on the table. A welcome mat at the door front. Curtains gently flowing from a sweet breeze.
In these verses we get a peek into the lives of Martha and Mary. Sisters. They pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Jesus is traveling and He makes a stop at His friend's home. He knows He is always welcome. I can see the smiles on the faces of all who are there. Hugs of joy as they gather for the evening.
Martha has made her home welcoming to all. She is that girl who is forever trying to make everyone feel comfortable. Hospitality is her gift. Think Martha is the older of the sisters? I see Martha as put together and ready for anything. I see her as a woman of order. A servant of the Lord. One who is willing to go the extra mile.
Just before we get to these verses we see that Jesus is speaking and shares the parable of the good Samaritan. An expert in the law stands and asks Jesus how he can inherit eternal life. "He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27
Isn't this what we see Martha doing? She is loving with the gifts that she has been given. Notice in the verses where Jesus is speaking to Martha He never tells her she is wrong or that she has made the wrong choice. He says that Mary has made the right choice. Can't you just here the Savior speaking to His friend as He doesn't just say her name one time. He speaks the name of Martha twice. This is so calming and comforting to me. He is simply sharing with Martha that Mary is right where she needs to be at the moment.
Mary too was loving the Lord with all her heart, soul, strength, and mind. She was at the feet of her Savior. She was hearing the words that she needed to hear at the moment. We don't know if Mary helped Martha out in the kitchen early. She may have been burdened deeply. Could there have been things the sisters didn't share with one another? Later it would be Mary who anoints Jesus with a fragrant oil. Was Jesus preparing her for this very moment? We see her devotion to Jesus. She is exactly where she needs to be at the moment. Mary was committed to act upon her faith. She wasn't being lazy. She was being obedient.
Maybe later Mary helps Martha clean up. Maybe she does it all on her on and tells Martha to take an evening walk and enjoy some time alone. We just don't know from scripture. What we do know is later in the story their brother Lazarus would die and they would call upon the Lord. In this moment they come together. I can see them comforting one another and praying together. Again they have a home filled with guests. Can't you picture them consoling others and giving words of comfort?
Don't you know Jesus knows exactly where we need to be? Martha was so worried about Mary not helping her that she didn't realize what many of us fail to see too. Just maybe Mary didn't need to be in the kitchen at the time. She needed these moments with Jesus as He was preparing her for the next.
In John 11:5 it says, "Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus." We can gather they had a wonderful friendship. Jesus knew these friends. He knew their gifts, their needs, and their desires.
When Martha walks out of the kitchen and perhaps sees Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus just maybe she was steaming. She was hot and tired and aggravated that she had no help from her sister. So, what does she do? She complains to the Savior. Don't we do the same? I think Martha gets a bad wrap here. How often are we working on a project, teaching a class, giving until we have nothing left to give and complain that Alice, Kathy and Jackie are not helping in any area? I have heard others complain that it's always the same people helping out and those that aren't helping should be serving and giving just as those who are working themselves to the bone.
Lets think about that. Do you really think Martha is one to just sit around and let others do for her? I don't see her that way. I see her as the Martha Stewart of her day. I see her loving those she is serving. I see her as giving with a joyful heart. Those who are serving want to serve. Just maybe those who are not up and serving in the way we think they should be are just where the Lord is calling them to be. At His feet. Could it be that He is preparing them for service? Could it be that the Savior is calling them to sit a while because the day is coming where He is going to call them further into the ministry? Why do we question what others are doing?
Yes, I can relate to Martha. Can't you? She was concerned with what Mary was or wasn't doing and she should have just been concerned with herself. Maybe later on as Mary pours fragrant oil upon Jesus she realizes that there was more to Mary at the feet of Jesus than she could see at the time. Martha was worried and troubled about things that she shouldn't have been. This too is us, my friends.
Let us just serve with a heart of joy. Let us lift up others as they journey. May we not consume ourselves with what others are doing that we miss out on the blessing that is right before us. Don't you know that the Lord was blessed by the service of Martha? His friend had opened her home and had given with love. Her hospitality was an example for others to follow. Mary too was an example for us. As we serve graciously may not forget that we too need time spent at His feet.