Will you sit at My Feet?

38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10: 38-42

Have you ever loved a piece of scripture for many years and sort of accepted the meaning of it from what others told you and what you yourself believed only to find that God wanted to reveal more…this is such a verse.

I have known and do know many Martha’s. I can be a Martha. I so often get consumed in duty out of fear and belief that this is what is expected of me. I feel sometimes that these individuals are so frightened of letting their guard down, for they would melt into puddles if they had nothing in which to busy their worried minds with. We look down on Martha’s don’t we? We treat them with disdain and try desperately to try not to equate ourselves with being one. However, we are thankful that there are Martha’s to get the work done, and are thankful that the burden doesn’t pass to us.

I have been taught to look at Martha with my nose up. I even assumed that Jesus looked at her with disdain, as if she were a burden with her busyness. I wished to be nothing like her and strove to place myself at His feet as often as possible, rolling my eyes at any Martha that walked by, and breathing in pride that I was nothing like that (except the times I am!)

God gently took this scripture and gave it a subtle thrust in the right direction. Oh, to have Mary’s tender and youthful heart. We all need to sit at Jesus feet, each and every one of us. It is so important for our walk. Obedience ignited by passion is truly and unstoppable force. Can you imagine someone martyred for their faith getting up on the platform before their death and saying, “Well this is my duty, something I have to do…” acting as if it was the chore of their life. All those martyred that I have read about died with passion on their lips and assured faith, that while they didn’t want to go through this trial, they were going to see their blessed Savior. The one they had served with reckless abandon.

However, when Jesus addresses Martha he is speaking to her, not to her about Mary. While not scriptural, I can almost envision the scene. Martha busily preparing the supper. The disciples dispersed here and their discussing any number of things, and of course Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet. He might be imparting a story of their travels. The scene is relaxed and comfortable. There is laughter floating in the air. I also can see Jesus watching Martha. He has watched her from the moment they have arrived, for does not the Shepherd watch over all of His flock. There is no disdain in His heart, only a deep desire to meet her need. My pastor says that we don’t realize how intimate Christ wants to be with us. How true…

All the while poor Martha is in the kitchen rushing around like a bee without a bonnet. Anger, sin, eating away at her thoughts. There is no place for communion with Jesus there, she is no longer being obedient to His will, but she thinks she is. How often we do that? We go about fluttering here and there, growing more and more frustrated with those brothers and sisters who sit on their duffs and seem to do nothing, and we do, and do, and do, and do with self-righteous attitude and before we know it we are a flower scorched in the sun. The shadow of His wings the only restoration.

In verse 40 it says, “…Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…” How easily Satan steals our time and our thoughts? We dutifully do for the Lord with about as much passion as a thumbtack. Am I saying that Martha didn’t love the Lord, or maybe she didn’t love the Lord as much as Mary? There in lies the kicker. This is what I had thought, that Mary loved Jesus more and this is what I thought Jesus thought. It is lie from the pit of Hell. Martha loved Jesus with all of her heart. She had a personal relationship with him. She cared for him. After all she invited Him into her home. Also, I know that she was close by the frank way in which she spoke, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work myself? Tell her to help me!” I love the exclamation point at the end of “Tell her to help me!” Martha’s anger has spilled forth. However, what leaves my heart trembling and my lip quivering is the, “Lord don’t you care…” Oh how deeply I have felt those words when I’ve asked the same thing of Him. The anguish of not understanding, surely He must see the injustice in all of this. Martha’s anger was covering a broken heart. She felt hurt and left out. I know from personal experience that she wanted to be there where Mary was, but duty bound in mind she felt she couldn’t. She felt it childish and foolish, but her heart longed for it. She longed for an intimacy with the Lord.

Jesus knew that too. I used to think that Jesus said these words very sternly to Martha…

41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

This is the part of the story that changed. Jesus did not spit these words at Martha with disdain. I can almost see his head turn to look full in her eyes, tears welling up in His own. The compassion and love He had for Martha showing full in His face. “Martha,” he says gently and full of emotion, and then repeats her name again with deep feeling. …”you are worried and upset about many things…” (don’t be my sweet, I love you and cherish you, these things are so meaningless, these things do not satisfy)…”but only one thing is needed…” (I am what brings your heart to life).

“Mary has chosen the better…” It wasn’t the only choice, it wasn’t the right be all end all choice, it was the better choice. It was the choice that would sustain Mary in the hard times ahead. Jesus wanted this for Martha too. “…and it will not be taken away from her.” Indeed it wouldn’t, it would give her strength when she might need it most. Martha was a very practical woman. I can only imagine what happened after that conversation. Martha’s mind was no longer on her work, and her heart no longer harbored anger. I wonder what the evening meal looked like. I wonder if Martha loosed her hair, slipped off her sandals, and sat at His feet later that evening.

Oh the love Jesus has for us, and He invites each and everyone one of us to sit at His feet. He invites us to spend time with Him. He invites us to an intimacy that is far beyond our wildest imagination. He wants to sit with us and relish His love upon us. He wants us to stop our busyness and find the simplicity of life. As my pastor says we are working ourselves to death trying to live a complicated fast paced life while trying to find peace and joy in the midst of ciaos. Contentment is a learned trait, and it doesn’t come from make ourselves so busy that we don’t worry about not being content. It is getting dead still and asking God to open up those wounds, those fears, those doubts, and it is then having one of the greatest conversations of your life with the Creator of the Universe. Martha, won’t you sit at My feet…He is asking you the very same thing, what will you say?

Comments

Dawn said…
Just wanted to come by and give you a (((hug)))!

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