The story of Mary and Martha gets my feathers ruffled because usually, at some point in the interpretation/application process, Martha is being “condemned” for her actions. I mean, come on, wasn’t she using her spiritual gift of hospitality and her love language of acts of kindness? And I still maintain that if Mary had gotten up and helped Martha, they both would have had the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus. Where’s the three point sermon on that?
I do wonder, if Martha had the chance to sit at the feet of Jesus, would she have taken it?
The answer to this question is probably no. Why? Because Martha is a chronic doer and doers tend to be emotionally unattached. Taking time to sit and chat could lead to confessing heart issues and humbleness. Such things are not at the top of a doers “To Do” list. Being the older sister Martha had plenty to do. She was use to taking responsibility and making sure everything was done. She probably even went so far as to create problems to solve because that was her role and where she felt comfortable. So naturally, Martha fussed with the temporal allowing it to not only take her focus but demanded it be the focus of Mary.
Mary, on the other hand, was a woman of passion and not afraid of matters of the heart and humility. I would suppose too that this was not her first time ignoring Martha’s pleas to get busy. Mary’s desire was to spend quality time with Jesus. Mary was not only focused on Jesus, she was sitting at his feet, anointing them with expensive perfume and wiping them with her hair. She gave of herself fully to her Lord-the Messiah. Mary was focused on the Spiritual. Mary was a true worshipper.
John 4:24 reminds us that, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
So who do you identify with? Where is your focus? Are you too engulfed in all the “to do’s” of children’s ministry (preparing lessons, calling workers, planning parties, VBS, Christmas programs...) to stop and bask in the presence of your Savior?
As Jesus told Martha, there will always be stuff to do but you can’t allow the temporary stuff keep you from what is truly important-true worship. (I paraphrased a bit :D).
True worship is essential for the life of a Christian and it is essential that, as a ministry leader, you not only have this lifestyle but model this lifestyle for your fellow servants and those you serve...the children. Programs are good. Event, parties, VBS...all good things to offer. But consider what it means to be engaged in true worship. Make time for this in your weekly programs. Teach children to sit at the feet of Jesus.
Verses on worship:
Verses on Rest:
Psalm 23; Exodus 33:14