Company is coming! Preparations are running in high gear. Windows are being cleaned and rugs shaken. The menu is being planned with great care.
That evening, she sinks exhausted into her bed. But sleep does not come. Thoughts buzz through her head: "Did I think of everything? What will I do if the roast does not cook thoroughly? By no means shall I forget to get fresh flowers tomorrow. Will the new cot be comfortable enough for the guest? Tomorrow I will ask my sister to get some whipping cream for the cake. Thankfully I am not alone. She stands by my side with a heIpinghand. lam so grateful for her help." Finally, she falls asleep.
The first thought in the morning is for the kind visitor who is expected to come. Then she thinks of all other preparations which still need to be made.
Together, the woman and her sister start their chores. During the greatest bustle a knock is heard at the door. The capable house wife is struck by fear. "The company is here and I am not ready!"
The friend, with his twelve companions, is greeted and taken to the sitting-room. Then she quickly rushes to the kitchen, puts the roast into the oven, and prepares the dessert.
Martha continues busily then notices that she is alone. "Well, of all things, where is Mary? Why did she stop? She knows many things still have to be prepared."
Martha goes to get the big ceramic bowl from the living room. She sees Mary and murmurs, "This can't be true!" There Mary sits at the feet of Jesus oblivious to the world around her. Martha feels Mary is negligent in her duties. It is brother Lazarus's responsibility to tend to the visitor while the women prepare the meal. Can't Mary see the visitor has brought along 12 friends? There is much to be done in the kitchen!
Softly Martha calls her sister, but Mary doesn't respond. Anger wells up. "She sits lazily and lets me slave away. Impudent! And we have to serve the meal for 16 people!"
Martha is so upset she can't keep silent. She will get help from Jesus. "Lord don't you care that my sister lets me do all the work alone? Please tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha, thou are careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41, 42).
With which of these two women can you identify yourself? Are you a Martha or a Mary?
Isn't it true that we, as ministers' wives, are often working around the clock. This large amount of work consumes us. There is always something to do. We sacrifice ourselves for others. We like to do this work; after all, we do it for Jesus. The Lord values our caring and yet one thing is more important than all the work for God—sitting at the feet of Jesus!
Do you take time off regularly to sit at His feet in order to be recharged and to learn from Him? We are not going to be saved by the amount of work we have performed. We are redeemed only if we have an intimate relationship with our Savior.
From the perspective of a housewife I can agree with Martha. Butlesus applies different standards. He designates Mary as the one who comprehends what is most important in life.
If I do not sit repeatedly at the feet of Jesus then I remain empty and hollow, even if I act like a perfect minster's wife and seem to have all things under control.
We have to steal some time in order to be alone with Jesus. We must be prepared to let go of all other things: pressing deadlines, urgent phone calls, or important visits, in order to be filled with Jesus' power. Then we will be able to start our work with new strength. I desire to be a Mary.