Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. – Luke 10.42From Helen:
It was inevitable, it was going to happen, we had left it for some time now. We had been playing with the small ones, baking, working, chatting to family and friends.
It was time to clean the house.
The housework had always been on the list, but as with many tasks that are not a favourite, other things slowly take priority. I started with the bathroom, moved onto the kitchen unloading the dishwasher of the clean things and reloading it with the vastly growing pile of dirty dishes that had accumulated on the side. It was about an hour in and somewhere between unloading the washing and wiping the table, that the story of Mary and Martha had come into my head.
Jesus and the disciples are on their way through a village and come to the home of Martha. They stop here to rest and eat with Martha and her sister Mary. Mary sits and listens to Jesus and all he says. Martha makes herself busy with the preparations for the meal.
And I felt right at that moment that I was Martha. I was making all the preparations for the day, but I hadn’t focused on Jesus at all and it was almost lunchtime. The Bible continues with Martha being annoyed by her sister’s idleness, asking Jesus to speak to her. Jesus does the exact opposite and tells Martha that only one thing is needed and Mary has chosen wisely. It is much better to listen to the Lord first and then do.
I would love to say that I right then picked up my Bible and reread that story, following the very example that Mary sets out for us, but I didn’t, I carried on. I finished cleaning the kitchen, thought I should be more like Mary, hoovered the house, thought I should read my Bible, put away the washing, thought ‘I’m so like Martha’, and tidied the dining room.
After all that and more was done, it was only then that I stopped, made a cup of tea and read the story, focusing on God’s Word.
I have always found it a challenge to find a regular time to study God’s Word (the Bible). I often find I’m distracted by something – my phone, small ones, a good book, food or, like Martha, the housework. I know that reading the Bible is good and when I do so, I find it helpful, challenging, uplifting and it brings me closer to the Lord, but it doesn’t stop it being hard! I have been particularly challenged in this lockdown time to make this a priority. Is there something you have been challenged by in this season? My challenge has prompted action and I am now getting up a little earlier and sitting with a coffee and some Bible notes. It is by no means easy but now I am starting the day how I have always been meaning to and wanted to, putting the Lord first, above everything. Including sleep!
You can find the complete story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10: 38-42.