Mary vs Martha
This week I finished the first chapter of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. I hope to read one chapter each week and write a little about it each Friday. I do not plan to summarize or review this book. I will just share my reflections on each chapter. If anyone else out there is reading this book I would love to read your thoughts on each chapter as well.
When Jesus arrives at Martha’s home she runs around the house making preparations for him and his disciples. When she realizes that Mary is not helping her she runs to Jesus to complain. Mary is at his feet listening to him and Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better thing to do. This seems to be a lesson in priorities. We should be putting God first in our lives and not let the daily distractions get in the way of what is important. Jesus makes this quite clear.
However, when I read this story, I cannot help but think of how this made Martha feel. Talk about sibling rivalry! Martha is working her tail off for Jesus and his disciples while her sister is just sitting in the other room enjoying the visit. That’s not fair! This story reminds me of the prodigal son. There is such a celebration when he returns home. But what about his brother? His brother was faithful to his family and always worked hard, but there was no party for him. That’s not fair!
Life’s not fair, right? That’s what we tell our kids. What if life was fair? What if we got what we deserved and gave up grace and mercy? It can be easy to wish that on someone else, but we certainly don’t want it for ourselves. Poor Martha had to swallow her pride and realize that she was missing out on an opportunity to sit with Jesus. I would like to believe that she handled this situation gracefully and joined her sister without bitterness. To me this is a harder lesson than putting your priorities in order. Life isn’t fair and we should be very thankful that it isn’t.