Back when my daughter was in her last year of high school, she had a group of school friends she hung out with from the cheer and track teams. When you go to enough games after a while your child’s friend’s parents become your FriendMoms.
There was a core group she shared life with in high school on that level. Towards the end of the school year one of the parents wanted to have the girls over for a “getting close to the end of senior year” informal get together at her home. I was excited to be getting the girls together and to be connecting with the FriendMoms.
My daughter and I get to the house that evening and when we get to the door, we see the host parent’s daughter (who is my daughter’s school friend) greet us. They were so happy to see one another. My daughter’s friend greeted the both of us and off they went into the basement to join the other friends. I make my way into the kitchen and host mom gives me the biggest smile and hug telling me to come on in and sit down at her kitchen table and relax. After I gave her a little something for inviting us, I asked like any guest would, can I help you with anything? Host mom said with so much excitement…”no I am good almost done getting things together.” As I turned away from her to go sit at the kitchen table, I saw a couple of the other moms sitting there. We greeted one another and began to chat. Host mom was so busy I mean she was trying to make sure everything was perfect. All over the kitchen going back and forth. I was having such a great time laughing with the other moms ……but I was paying attention. Host mom was in and out of our conversations but very little because her attention was on making us and the girls have the best experience. She had food she was finally finishing up that she made for the teenagers and other types of food for the adults. At least an hour went by and she finally called her daughter up from the basement to get the food for her friends while she brought food over to us placing dishes on the table. AND……..THEN…….she FINALLY came and sat with us at the kitchen table.
As she sat down with a big smile and big sigh…..I jokingly said with a big smile back….well HI! Welcome to YOUR TABLE! So good to see you! We all had a good laugh out loud in that moment. I went on to say to my host mom friend, listen this was supposed to be an informal thing getting the girls together, and you went all out. You know we did not need all of this; we are good just being here sharing time with you and having the girls have their good time together.
Her response like a good host was a very common response that I have said and what others have said. She said something like….well I know but I just wanted to make sure you all had a good time and the food was good and things were straight. And our response again in all gratefulness was that we were just glad to be with her and glad the girls were together. We did not care about anything else. We just wanted the quality time.
That night reminded me then and now about the story in the bible where Martha invited Jesus over to her house. She was trying so hard to make sure evvverything was just perfect for Jesus and she got so distracted with her sister not helping her. Martha had the nerve to complain to Jesus and demand Him to put her sister straight and tell her to help her. Now Martha should have known better not to come for her sister through Jesus. Unfortunately, Martha got what we call the oke-doke. She REALLY should have known better not to say that to Jesus. See…Jesus had become too common for Martha. Jesus loved this family they were friends but Jesus is the kind of friend that will love you enough to tell you the whole truth….well He is the whole truth actually….and unapologetically. I love how Jesus called Martha’s name twice. He more than likely needed to calm her ALL the way down. Calling her name once was not going to fly even with-it being Jesus who was calling her. I wonder how Mary felt at first. She was probably a little fearful and upset at the same time with her sister. Martha coming for Mary like that also caused a distraction and interruption between Jesus and Mary’s moment. Mary was so into Jesus that she did not even think or want to do anything else. She really did not care if the salmon should be cut into portions or left whole. Or if the spinach should be sauteed or steamed. She was into Jesus and being so into Jesus caused Him to protect her and come to her defense. Which is why Jesus rebuked Martha and called the thing Mary was doing THAT GOOD PART ….and that Mary had CHOSEN WHAT IS BETTER. I love how He went on to say that Mary’s desire for Him would not be taken away from her. Jesus was not playing. He was very clear by saying that Mary’s desire would not be taken away from her. I love it. Busyness for Him does not impress Him. He wants time with us.
That good part nor was that better choice in the kitchen. It was in the presence of Jesus at His feet under His voice learning from His teaching and gleaning. And although our bodies need it, getting full in His presence with the word, worship, and prayer will last much longer than filling ourselves with natural food.
Martha chose to try to IMPRESS HIM. Mary chose to just BE WITH HIM.
Mary did not have to defend herself. I repeat. Mary DID NOT have to defend herself.
Mary choosing that good part opened the door for Jesus to protect her coming to her defense and speaking a blessing over her. Can you imagine how Mary felt? Well, we can actually.
Let’s be like Mary today. Let’s CHOOSE WHAT IS BETTER, LET’S CHOOSE THAT GOOD PART. That is what will bring protection and the blessing of our desire for Him to stay and remain. We would not have to struggle with desiring Him when we make Him our priority. And we would not have to defend ourselves.
PRAYER: Jesus thank you for being such a great friend. Thank you for telling us the truth and for BEING truth in our lives. Forgive us for being SO BUSY that we don’t make time to spend with you. In a Martha world, we want to be Mary. HELP……US. I cry out like King David today when he said in Psalm 61:2b when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to that rock that is higher than I. Lord I want to be found in your presence at your feet. I want to learn your ways I want to know you intimately. I come against every distraction. I will lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles. I will look unto you Jesus the author and perfector of my faith. Thank you for rebuking my busyness and thank you for your grace and mercy that brings me back in alignment with you. Thank you for the blessing of remaining in you and thank you for being my defense. Amen.
Psalm 94:22 (NIV) But the Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
Psalm 99:5 (NIV) Exhalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool, He is holy.
John 15:4 (NIV) Remain in me as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.