Monday, June 23, 2008

In Defense of Martha

But Martha was distracted
with much serving...
Luke 10:40a

Martha gets a bad rap most of the time; at least that is my own opinion. Many preachers use Martha as an illustration of a woman who makes a choice to be busy over spending time with Jesus. Jesus himself says that Martha shouldn't be "anxious and troubled" about food but I think that Jesus was actually keeping to his typical teaching style and using Martha's situation to illustrate a larger point. He wasn't putting down Martha's efforts in the kitchen. He was encouraging her to not make such a fuss over the meal. He didn't need a big spread, just something simple. After all spending time with Jesus is important.

While baking cookies this afternoon for the incoming campers it struck me that food and Jesus are a good combination. After teaching thousands of people for three days Jesus becomes aware of their hunger pains and what does he do? He feeds them. He worked this miracle at leat twice! Plus much of his converations with the diciples takes place around a meal.

There are lots of Marys in the camp this week. They have chosen to spend a week learning about Jesus. But, you know what? There will be three Marthas in the kitchen this week, not "anxious or troubled" about the meals that will be prepared, but open and willing to encourage and support the eager Marys.

Without a few Marthas at camps, retreats, conferences and church dinners a number of Marys would perhaps be so hungry that they would forget the purpose of their coming! Here's to those supportive Marthas!

Jesus, thank you for loving Martha.
Even though sometimes she became focused on
meal planning she was also
one of the first who really knew
your power to heal and restore.
Help me in my own "Martha" spirit
to also make time to spend with you.

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