…I have heard preached from different church pulpits several times in my adult life, sermons on Mary versus Martha. For those unfamiliar with the New Testament of the Holy Bible, there is a story in which Jesus goes to the home of his friends Mary and Martha (not the Mary who was Jesus’ mother), who are sisters. While He is talking to those gathered around him, Mary is sitting at His feet, and Martha is in another area preparing the meal and whatever else was needed at the time. Jesus Christ exhorts (truthfully scolds in a loving way) Martha to stop worrying about the preparations, and to be more like Mary, who has chosen to sit and listen to His teaching.
Well, I have to say that every time I hear a sermon on this subject, I am convicted that I do not spend enough time at Christ’s feet receiving His love and teaching, while simultaneously becoming frustrated that as a Martha, I am always busy with the preparations that are so needed by human beings, as in food, clothing, and shelter! I am a Martha, just like my mom, and like most of my friends! We worker bees tend to swarm together to get the work done so when the Queen Marys of this world are ready to eat, food is available!
I have to say that the Marthas in my life came through with gusto and grace for my husband’s memorial service. I don’t know how, in only 48 hours, a handful of women who have enough to do in their own lives, could email, phone, text, and decide how to feed 300+ people on a modest budget. In addition, they went shopping for all the food and the required paper goods, prepared all the dishes, and even provided chairs and tables from three different churches to seat all the folks who stayed after the service to comfort one another and fellowship.
I was so busy with the memorial service preparations, that all I could do was contact one Martha, ask her to round up the other Marthas, and “handle it.” I didn’t give it another thought. It was so fun to attend the supper after the service! I was so buoyed up by the service, prayers, and God’s overflowing grace, that I flitted around from table to table, receiving hugs and talking with friends and family who had traveled long distances to pay their respects. Everything about the supper was beautiful, abundant, organized, never ending, and the Lord topped it all off with glorious sunshine—no wind or rain—for the unforgettable lawn party banquet set out by the Marthas.
I chuckled when my one Martha friend, a gifted pianist and piano teacher, who is usually coordinating music for such big events, told me how much out-of-her comfort zone she was in coordinating the food with the other Martha, yet how much fun she had. It was probably her first time doing so on such a scale, with such short notice. When I get to Heaven, I am going to talk to the Creator of the Universe about the importance of Marthas in this world, and that they need more respect….