But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Tucked away in the book of Luke (at the end of chapter 10), is a short story of a family that welcomed Jesus into their home. It’s the story of Mary and Martha. In the story we find Martha hard at work, while Mary sits at the feet of our Savior. Reasonably, Martha is upset. She is being left to do all the work by herself, and she gets edgy. I can hardly blame her for that, I probably would to. However, when I was reading this story the other day, something completely different caught my attention.
Yes, Martha was busy working, and she thought that Mary should be too. Does that sound familiar? We live in a Martha world. We are told that we should be busy doing, not sitting at the feet of our Savior. Sure, Christians are suppose to read their Bible, but even the Christian world bombards us with the idea that if we aren’t busy serving, then we aren’t doing what we should be. If we aren’t cooking meals for families that need them, or cleaning the church building, or teaching Sunday school or Bible study, then we are looked down on.
Yet, in the story of Mary and Martha, Jesus chided Martha saying: “…but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:42. Taking the time to sit quietly and pray or read God’s Word, that’s better than doing all the other things that Christians do. Yes, those things are good, and even required, but without the Word of God, they are all meaningless. Why? Because “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4. We need the Word of God, more than we need to teach Sunday school, more than we need to clean the church, and more than we need to sign up to bring food to a fellowship gathering. After all, we are saved by grace through faith—and this not from ourselves, but it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8.