Luke 10:41-42 – "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (NIV)
I wanted to have the neighbourhood coffee group meet in my home, and yet I was anxious about it too. Many of my neighbours were good housekeepers. Would they find my home clean and decorative enough? Women also have a tendency to be competitive. Would my food offerings be as good as others' had been? Would I serve my guests appropriately?
Then I thought about Martha. She had become uptight and anxious, and had started to complain. Mary was not concerned with serving the guests, but was hanging on to every word that Jesus, the guest, spoke.
Jesus was not coming to my house, but my neighbours were. He had commanded us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Was not listening and visiting with my neighbours more important than how I served them? These neighbours were delighted to be invited into my home. They were not concerned with how I served them, but how I related to them as neighbours.
Jesus was trying to tell Martha that her busyness and her preparation were not as important as her physical presence and her attentive ear. Sometimes, we have to overlook the correct etiquette, pour our guests a cup of coffee, relax, and visit with them. Rather than impressing them, we need to love them, listen to what they have to say, and accept them as they are.
Prayer: Lord, like Martha, we become hurried and anxious about many things. Calm us down, and show us what is important to You. Teach us how to love our neighbours rather than impress them. Amen.
Listen to this devotional