St. Martha, the cook. St. Martha, the servant.
It’s unfortunate that St. Martha carries the reputation of the one who worried about “all the things other than Jesus.”
The truth is she was concerned with Jesus. She was serving him.
He didn’t say that serving was unimportant, but that being connected to Him was the source of the love needed to serve.
I love that the gospel tells us that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” (John 11:5) His love was evident. We hear about his visits to Bethany many times in the gospels.
Isn’t it true, that each of us have friends’ homes that we enjoy going to, where we can truly be ourselves.
Our friends’ homes can be places of rest and laughter and peace. He had a truly human friendship with them filled with the characteristics of true friendship. And I love that as part of that friendship and love He was able to tell his friend where her priorities were a bit misaligned.
There are many times in my life that I feel like there is so much good to do, but proper discernment of what is the good that Jesus asks of me is what brings me the most life.
I see so clearly here that Jesus is pleased with her serving, is blessed by her cooking, and is loved intensely by her. She was in the background doing the work that allowed Jesus to work. He was so pleased. But what a beautiful gentle reminder from a friend who loved her so much to remind her to take a break and rest beside Him, to be with, to listen and to love Him.
From a hospitality perspective, I also learned a tidbit here of how to serve better in my own home.
If at all possible, do the preparations and cooking before my guests arrive, so that I can be present to them once they do show up. I love practical tips from Jesus.
In his lesson for Martha, we see a lesson for all of us: it is his love that fills. It is his presence that gives her the grace and strength to serve. He is the source of her servanthood. He is the source of our servanthood. Let us all remember to sit in His presence so we may not grow weary in our work or “worried and anxious about many things.” (Luke 10:41) He is the better part.