Dear Lord, I praise You for leading me into Your Kingdom; the Kingdom of faith, hope, and love.
Read Luke 10:38-42
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Put aside your weighty cares; let your burdensome distractions wait, free yourself awhile for God and rest awhile in him” (Anselm of Canterbury, 1033-1109).
Yesterday’s passage concluded with an exhortation to “Go and do likewise,” yet another indication that Jesus longs to see his disciples being real and practical in responding to human need. About this there should be no doubt and no controversy. We are called to a costly engagement. However, Luke’s focus now moves immediately to a common mistake made by many. It is all too easy to allow our submersion in busyness, even good busyness, to squeeze out the time we need to be still with God. This is what Luke wants us to be mindful of.
Martha was so busy serving, and just a little grumpy. She was convinced it would make all the difference if someone else helped her shoulder the burden. Who can blame her? This is not, however, the real issue. It was her choice to be “distracted by her many tasks” (40, NRSV), and Mary had chosen differently. Martha made the wrong call. Jesus was clearly speaking very specifically to Martha’s situation, and not issuing a broader instruction to his disciples, urging them to choose between action and contemplation. That would make a mockery of so much else he did and taught. But if we are struggling with Martha’s problem then we should listen to Jesus’ solution. Our well-being, and our effectiveness in the tasks that make us so busy, are at stake.
That Jesus should encourage Martha to emulate Mary is a remarkable thing, for Rabbis did not allow a woman to “sit at their feet,” that is, to be disciples. Jesus demonstrated the implications of the biblical truth that God has made both men and women in his image, and loves us equally. That is why the church should be known for its opposition to all that belittles, or stigmatizes anyone, including women.
There are different ways to be still with God. What works best for you? How can you be more faithful in practicing them?
Father, forgive me for readily judging and categorizing others. Help me remove any barriers I place in front of others.
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