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Mary and Martha - The Better Thing

Many of us are well acquainted with the story of Mary and Martha found in the Bible in the book of Luke, chapter 10. In this story, Jesus and his disciples were traveling when they came to a village where a woman named Martha lived. She must have been the eldest and head of the household for it says that she opened her home to them. Martha was distracted, rushing about making preparations for a meal. After all, she had 13 unexpected guests for dinner. Ignoring Martha’s stress, her sister, Mary was simply sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to what He had to say. This irritated Martha, so she complained to Jesus about her sister’s idleness. Unfortunately, He didn’t take her side but told her that while she was distracted with many things, Mary had chosen what was better and it would not be taken away from her.

What was that ‘better thing?’ What could be better than preparing a meal for hungry travelers? It was sitting adoringly at the feet of our Lord Jesus, hanging on His every word.
The first and most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
Martha, on the other hand was keeping busy preparing a meal for the visiting evangelist. She was busy doing ‘good works.” Aren’t many of us guilty of that same lack of judgment? There is much to do in running a church. Good Christians are hard at work in ministry – outreach, missions, feeding the poor, planning church services, teaching Bible studies, etc. We are so busy with ‘good works’ that we don’t take time for the quiet worship of our Lord. We may put in hours of Bible study in preparation for teaching a Sunday School class or small group but we neglect the reading of God’s word to see what He has to say to us today. In that, we lose sight of the miraculous ways that He speaks to us, giving the needed inspiration and guidance for our life today.

Let’s stop being distracted by so many things. Take time, daily, to worship your Heavenly Father and to hang on His every word. God’s first priority is that we love Him with all our soul, heart, mind and strength. All other commandments and Christian duties fall in line behind that.


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