Yes, it is time to pause Martha.
We’ve all heard that sermon about Martha working so hard, distracted with much serving, and Mary who chose to sit at Jesus’ feet. Perhaps, at one point or two in our reading of the story in Luke, we rebelled at the verse where Jesus said Mary has chosen the good part not Martha. I know I did. Martha was doing everything she can to serve the Lord, while Mary was doing nothing but sat and listened to Jesus. How could Mary’s choice be the better one? Yet, Jesus did say Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42).
I struggled with that truth.
I can identify with Martha. I can connect with her. I understand her. Doing for Christ adds up well in my brain. I can grasp it. Working hard for Him pleasantly aligns with my perception of being a Christian. But I have difficulty wrapping my brains around Mary, who preferred to sit at Jesus’ feet when all is a buzz around her serving the Lord. This Mary appears to have no concern for others, not even her sister, but herself. And yet, Jesus said that one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that.
For a long time, I did not see it. What is Jesus saying here?
But now, I see. Mary chose Jesus.
Mary chose to listen and be with Jesus instead of being occupied with all the activities meant for Him. She chose to be silent and be at Jesus’ feet. This revelation is likely not new to us. Nevertheless, have we truly understood it?
For most of us, our Christian lives are defined by nonstop schedules of doing and performing one godly thing after another. Many, if not all, have given up the time they can be before the Lord because of exhaustion and other more “important” assignments. We are frenzied with much doing and trying for the Lord unknowingly ignoring Him. The buzzing of godly tasks have become so loud in our lives we could not hear His voice. Some of us have even sacrificed much of our lives for Christ, but are so far from Him. We have reduced our fellowship and love for the Lord to church programs, Christian events, and Easter egg-hunts. Akin to Martha, we welcomed Jesus into our lives. However, we quickly forgot about Him and jumped to being anxious about serving.
But Jesus is far more interested in what you do with Him than what you do for Him. Jesus desires to be with you.
No, I do not say that we do nothing and stop serving or that our current undertakings for God are not good. In fact, many of them are good. Still, if they have replaced our relationship with Christ, then they have now evolved into destructive deeds. It won’t be long until we suffer from their toxic effects. We cannot sustain our “service” to God without building and growing in our relationship with Him.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (NKJV)
We are, at the moment, running on fumes as we carry out our service because we have forgotten how it is to spend time with Jesus. We are in desperate need to fill our spiritual tanks with Him.
Yes, it is time to pause Martha. And take on Mary’s attitude.
Spend time with the Lord, talk to Him, and let Him speak to you. Abide in Him, so we may bear much fruit. Do this consistently. Do this intentionally. Neglect not our relationship with Him. For no matter how godly the tasks we are privileged to fulfill, they are not God.
Let our hands be such as Martha’s, and our hearts as Mary’s. Serve with much care like Martha did, but love and be with the Lord like Mary.
April 24, 2013
© 2013 Kezia Lewis. All Rights Reserved.