Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 NIV
We often hear this story told with the focus on Mary and how she chose the better part. But Martha was also loved by the Lord, and it is a good thing because a lot more of us are like her than like Mary! In fact, there would be no story at all if it were not for Martha inviting, not only Jesus, but twelve of his friends, who came in her house with dirty feet and the smell of fish about them. Of course, Martha did start rushing about, and got busy doing unimportant things. But Jesus begins His correction by tenderly calling her by name. Yes. Mary did choose the better part that day, but Martha was also precious to Him. If we follow the story of these sisters, we will discover that Martha learns to choose the better part.
After the death and resurrection of their brother Lazarus, Martha hosts another dinner in honor of Jesus, and again she alone serves at the table, but this time there is no more complaining. Her focus is on Jesus, and she quietly honors Him with delight in the best way she understands. Aren’t you glad that God is patient with us, just as Jesus was with Martha? He calls you by name. “Martha – Martha!” You are precious to Him in spite of your failings, weaknesses and choices. As we keep inviting Him to our house and we continue serving at His table, He will gently teach us to listen. As we quiet the anxiety that bangs the pots and pans of our everyday life, we will find that we can choose the better part. Just as Mary did, we will find that same blessing as we come to rest and listen at the feet of Jesus Christ.
This week I was so blessed to have Jim and Carolyn to serve the communion at Watermark. It is so important to have helpers who will be like Martha with a willingness to help. It is a precious thing for these brothers and sisters, in long term care to receive something we take for granted every time we are in church. If you would like to learn more about how you can be involved in nursing home ministry, here, is a link to a book I wrote a while back called, “Nursing Home Ministry, the Heart of Jesus Christ.