Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World – Week 1

Posted On January 31, 2008

Filed under Book Club

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Don’t you just love the first sentence, “Have you ever tried to do it all?” Of course we have!  Of course we still do!  It’s part of our culture.  The women on television do it; the women in politics and big business do it.  But, should we try to “do it all?”

If you were in Bethany, invited to Mary and Martha’s house, where would you be — alongside Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, or in the kitchen with Martha?

I know where I’d be — my mama taught me that when you go to someone’s house, you’d better see what needs to be done in the kitchen, and help the hostess before you even think of sitting down and visiting!

However, Mary wasn’t being lazy or impolite.  Jesus doesn’t rebuke Mary in the story, and he isn’t harsh with Martha.  Read Luke 10:40 – 42

40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (ESV)

Have you ever been invited to dinner, and had a wonderful time, a great meal, but you never got to spend even a minute with the hostess?  She served everyone, but barely sat down to eat (always something to check on, somewhere else to be).  When the meal was over, she insisted on cleaning up and making coffee and serving dessert, rather than sitting down with her guests and enjoying the fellowship of her company.

Which was Jesus’ point to Martha – her serving, or her distractedness, anxiety and worry?

What does it mean that “Mary has chosen the better part?”

This statement on page 10 struck me. . .”He [Jesus] isn’t looking as much for workers as he is looking for sons and daughters — a people to pour his life into. . .”

Do you feel more like a “worker bee” in God’s family, or like a daughter, a beloved child?

What are your observations and challenges with the Matthew 11:28 – 30 passage?

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I remember, at a horribly manic Martha time in my life, reading this Scripture and literally tossing my Bible across the room (embarrassing, I know, but, come on, what’s the point if we aren’t real here!).  I was so overwhelmed with responsibilities and burdens, and didn’t realize that most of them were self-imposed, with a desire to be “indispensible to everyone.”

Jesus’ invitation is to come. Come to Him with our schedules.  Come to Him with our children, our marriage, our relationships.  Come to Him with our hurts and our hearts.  Come to Him for rest.  Come to Him to receive a “yoke,” the responsibilities and opportunities that HE wants for us.  Come for peace.  Come to Him.

Spending time with Jesus is not just another “thing I have to do to make God like me.”  It is a tremendous opportunity to spend time getting to know and love the God who saved me and loves me and calls me His precious child.  This book is about the process of learning to “choose the better part.”

Can you identify one or two changes that you will make this week, to start on the journey to “choosing the better part?”

How’s the soaking in of Matthew 11:28 – 30 going?  I don’t call it “memorizing” anymore, because too many people say they “can’t memorize.”  However, anyone can write a verse on a 3×5 card or put it on the screen saver of their computer, and read it and think about it and pray through it throughout the day.  You will be amazed at how much you will absorb when you “soak in” like this.  Try it!

I want to know what you think!

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