Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Toast to 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 opinion! Preachers use Martha to illustrate 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 believe that Jesus was keeping to his typical teaching style--using Martha's situation to illustrate a larger point. He wasn't putting down Martha's efforts in the kitchen. He was challenging her to not make too much fuss over the meal! He didn't need a big spread, just something simple. After all, spending time with Jesus is important.

While getting ready for a dinner party one afternoon it struck me that food and Jesus are a good combination. After teaching thousands of people for three days Jesus hears their growling stomachs and makes a simple meal. He catered this four digit miracle at least twice! Plus think about all of those conversations with the disciples while they were at “the table.”

There are lots of Marys in the world. They go to retreats and conferences in a desire to learn more about Jesus. But, you know what? At every “spiritual” retreat, every “knowing God” conference there will be some Marthas in the kitchen, not "anxious or troubled" about the meals, but open and willing, doing their part in the Kingdom to encourage and support the yearning Marys.

Here’s a thought! Without Marthas at camps, retreats, conferences and church dinners, a whole lot of Marys would perhaps be so ravenous that they wouldn’t be able to focus on their heart’s desire! So, here's a toast to Martha!

Jesus, thank you for loving Martha.
Though sometimes she became overly focused on the
“presentation” she was also one of the first who really knew
Your power to heal and restore.
Help my own "Martha" spirit to make time to spend with you.

Image--this is a great "Marthat" web site!


Suzanne Kistler said...

About 3 years ago we started a weekly home fellowship for post-high school kids. They're basically 18-30. My jaw dropped at our organizational barbeque when my husband announced to the group (including our pastor) that I would be making dinner EVERY WEEK before the Bible study.

It's turned out to be a great idea, and gives the group a good chance for fellowship before we dig into the word. Although I never would have thought of it, I highly recommend it. ;)

Valerie Jordan Mangrum said...

I'll think of you Suzanne when I'm preparing dinner for our youth group every Thursday night! Great conversation happens around the dinner table! Enjoy being a Martha!