From the exhortation delivered on Sunday, July 24th, 2016 by Pastor Brian Phillips
"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman namedMartha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 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.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'”
The Gospel reading for today recounts a familiar event in the life of Jesus. In Bethany, Jesus enters the house of Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. And, as Jesus is teaching, the two sisters have very different reactions. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet to listen, while Martha busies herself with preparations – serving Jesus and the disciples. Finally, Martha has had enough and she says to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
This is an astounding thing to say to the Son of God - “Do you not care?” Yet, we all know our anxiety and worry can make us think and say all kinds of things, can’t it?
But, Jesus does care, so He replies with compassion; not responding to Martha’s complaint directly, but getting to the heart of the problem: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
It was not that Jesus did not care. It was not that He was ungrateful for Martha’s service. The problem was, rather, that Martha had it backwards. The desire to serve or labor, coming even from the best of intentions, can cause us to miss the “one thing needful.” And, all of our work – even if done for Christ Himself – must be done from a state of rest and worship, not out of anxiety, worry, and harried frustration.
This exhortation is certainly for all of us, but we have a number of stay-at-home moms and homeschooling moms in our congregation that need to take encouragement from this. Jesus wants you to rest at his feet, not serve yourself ragged. Jesus wants you to hear Him, not worry yourself to death about everything that could be done. The list of what could be done, after all, is never-ending.
Did you know that one of the (relatively) few events that all of the Gospels record is when Jesus took just a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread and fed thousands? Give what you have, but leave the miracle to Jesus. The miracle is His to do, not yours.
Rest at His feet, then rise to serve Him in faith, knowing that He can multiply your service into whatever He needs it to be...with baskets left over.