This is a very familiar story we have all heard many times before. Martha is busy working away while Mary is sitting with Jesus & listening to his teaching. Martha gets upset with her sister for bailing on her while serving & asks Jesus to step in. Instead of granting her request, Jesus explains that Mary has chosen the “good portion/part” or essentially made the right choice.
During this time of prayer & fasting, I felt called to these 5 verses once again. What I realized was, I am “Martha” by nature. I’m always planning or working on getting things done to the point that I often have to slow down & remember what is most important in order to truly experience it. For many of us serving in church for a long time, this is true as well. It gets easy over time to get caught up in the serving aspect & miss out on true worship, the point of the teaching or just experiencing the actual presence of God, because we are “busy” toiling about.
In looking back at this extremely condensed version of events, I noticed a few things. The series of events could have taken place over hours, a day, or even days. Maybe Martha felt justified in her request & had a good reason to be frustrated based on the work left to do. Jesus never specifically admonishes Martha for serving or make light of what she has done to prepare, rather he explains that she is troubled by many things and missing the “main thing.” Ultimately, I think Martha’s heart was in the right place in her service & much of what she did was probably necessary up to a point. However None of the preparation, planning, or service can replace the experience of being in Jesus’s presence. We should never lose sight of what’s most important and let anything distract us from the presence of God. Serve with all our hearts, but don’t miss out on “who” & why we serve.