Good afternoon friends! I hope you’ve had a lovely week. I’m so glad to see you here today because we get to talk about one of my absolute favorite passages. I’ve taken a lot of encouragement from the story of Mary and Martha over the years. This passage has so much to it and I think is particularly applicable as we enter the Christmas season so let’s dive in!
“Now, as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha 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.” Luke 1-:38-42
As I said earlier, this passage is one of my all time favorites. There are two main things I want to explore with y’all today. First, let’s talk about the culture standard here. In the time and culture Jesus lived in, women didn’t sit and listen to a rabbi (teacher). The rights of women were very different and they experienced a lot less freedom than women of current day. It was pretty radical for Mary to join the men for this talk.
This passage shows us that Jesus values women and their biblical education.
Modern churches tend to have odd relationships with the concept of feminism and struggle to understand biblical teaching while still treating women respectfully.
Jesus’ response here says that Mary has as much of a right to hear His words as anyone else. She isn’t shut out or asked to return to work.
Jesus regularly affirms the worth of women. In a world where equality is not necessarily a guarantee, I have struggled with understanding how to understand my place in a biblical context. There are thousands of opinions on men and women and how we relate to one another. Oftentimes, we can become so intent on winning an argument, on proving our point, or finding the perfect verse to back up our opinions, we forget that our words/actions hurt. In the fight to win, we forget that women have been caught in the crossfire for centuries. I don’t know if you’ve been hurt by a church’s stance, but if you have, know that Jesus affirms you. He values you.
Secondly, this passage reminds me of how I should act during the holiday season. I think we all relate to the stress Martha felt. When it comes to holiday dinners or parties, there’s a weird amount of pressure. We want it all to be perfect. Year after year, I find myself caught up in the business of the season. I can’t imagine how Martha felt here. God, literally, came to her house for a meal. I think I’d be bustling around the kitchen trying to cook something fantastic too!
It is certainly my personality to be busy constantly. Slowing down to make time for intentional conversations or to truly listen to someone is a struggle. I find it way easier to say I’m too busy to ask a deep question or I have too many responsibilities to make time for Jesus today. Mary’s actions seem a little foreign to me. Someone shows up to your house for dinner and instead of hostessing, she just sat down and listened.
Jesus says she chose, “the good portion and it will not be taken away from her.” Mary understood what was important in that moment and it wasn’t impressing her guests. I want to live like that during this upcoming season. I want to stop and make time to actually ask my friends and family how they are. Not how they are on the surface, but what is actually going on. I want to start conversations about Jesus.
It seems silly to say that we need to make time for Jesus at Christmas. Christmas is about Jesus! But, in a world that values looks about quality, this requires intention. It requires us to stop and seek Jesus first.
I hope y’all will join me in seeking Jesus first! If you’re looking for a way to specifically study the word this Christmas, my mom showed me this amazing advent resource. I love She Reads Truth (and there’s a He Reads Truth for the guys). They post daily scripture and messages about the passages. But this Christmas they are doing a special advent series you can read daily on their website (for free!). This is a great way to celebrate the advent season! Hope y’all enjoy and have the most wonderful of weeks.
If there is a way I can be praying for you or encouraging you, please shoot me an email or a comment! I would love to hear from you friends! Much love. ❤