Thursday, October 27, 2011
Call Me Martha
Sometimes, I just feel like a Martha. Do you ever get that way? No, I'm not talking about Martha Stewart. I'm talking about Mary and Martha from Luke 10. Let's take a look!
"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 ESV
When I was younger, I used to think that Jesus was being a little rude here. After all, Martha just wanted to serve her Master, and there can't be anything wrong in that, right? She was just showing her love in a different manner than Mary was. However, in taking a closer look at the text, I find it's more of a matter of the heart here. Martha wanted to serve-- to feel like she was doing something for the Lord. Meanwhile, her sister Mary sat in awe of her Lord.
Clarification-- there is nothing wrong with serving. In fact, we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, which in turn means that we would serve. I am by no means trying to imply that we don't need to serve. James 1 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." But sometimes, and I'm speaking to myself here, we get so busy serving that we forget to take time to sit in awe and just listen to Jesus. To spend time with Him.
Jesus desires such an intimate relationship with us, not of a servant/master, but as a friend. "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15)
But isn't it easier to serve? To feel like you're doing something in return for all that He's done for us? It's in our human nature-- everything in this world has a price, so we tend to feel guilty when we receive a gift if we don't have one to present in return. But God doesn't work that way. He doesn't require our good works, our service-- no matter how charitable, godly, or whatever else you want to justify it with-- it is. He just wants us to come, to sit at His feet, and be in awe.
In the midst of all the crazy, busyness of life, in all the different ways that we serve each week (Sunday school, praise team, kids club, youth group, volunteering, the list could go on for quite a while!) remember one thing: God longs to spend time with you. He wants that close, intimate relationship. When was the last time you just sat at the feet of Jesus and listened?
This week, I challenge you to stop. To stop trying to give so much, stop trying to pour yourself out into everyone else. Just breathe, and listen to God. Stand in awe of God.