(Click verse above to see the entire reading)
“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” –Luke 10:41-42
(click the title above for the podcast)
Mary and Martha.
This familiar tale of sibling rivalry strikes right at the heart of our busy world and get to it culture. Jesus comes to visit the house of these sisters and Martha rushes around, getting things ready, preparing the meal, serving those gathered.
Mary, on the other hand, sits at the feet of Jesus.
Oh does Martha notice. And she tells Jesus to make Mary help her.
Often this story is told comparatively. Mary is clearly doing the better thing. So Martha ends up being painted as the bad thing, Mary better.
But what if that’s not the case?
What if, instead of being a comparative story, it’s a story of living into our created selves?
Mary has chosen to sit at the feet of Jesus. She’s chosen to see herself as worthy enough to be in a place where others would likely deem her unwelcome and not allowed.
But she does it. And Jesus lifts it up.
Martha’s service isn’t bad, and it’s a mistake to assume that serving others is the lesser of this story. Rather, it’s that Martha is so distracted by the things she feels she HAS to do, she misses out on the chance to live into who God has truly called her to be – a disciple. A child of God.
The same is true of us – we are called to be more than our expectations. More than the labels we’ve been given, more than what we can do.
We too are worthy not because of the things we do but of who God has called us to be.
Who God has ALREADY said we are.
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. What expectations have been placed on you that might not be life-giving?
2. What are your many things? What things distract you from seeing yourself as God sees you?
3. If you could do or be anything – what would you do or be? Are you doing that now? Why not?
4. How can you take steps to be confident in the identity you’ve been given by God and the freedom that identity gives you from the expectations of others?
This week, start paying attention to the ways God has gifted you and those around you. Point it out in yourself and in others. As best as you can, live out of the one thing instead of the many things this week and see what happens.