Martha and Mary ~ Saints and Scripture Sunday

Saints and Scripture Sunday

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42)

I love this scripture, because it speaks to me about one of my biggest flaws – I am a Martha.  No, I am a Martha with an oak leaf cluster, a Martha on steroids.  I have lists of things that need to be done, lists of things I need to think about doing, lists of things I need to talk someone else into doing, and a horribly long list of things that should have already been done.  I feel guilty on the rare occasions I do just one thing at a time, because in order to get all this done I should be doing three or four things at once – and usually I am.  But when I just take the time to savor the moment, to enjoy  interacting with one person for a chunk of time without an agenda to be addressed . . . it’s wonderful. 

Last weekend I traveled several hours to a family wedding. I spent the trip there and back reading, planning blog posts, clearing out my Google Reader, tweeting, and fighting the neck and back pain that has ruled my life the last two years.  But at the wedding and the reception, and at the hotel before and after I was Mary.  Oh, OK, dammit, I wasn’t totally Mary.  I took some pictures and asked questions that will show up in later blog posts about reception centerpieces, being a mother-in-law, and what teenage boys talk about when they think the only adult in the room is asleep (that will be a GREAT post), but I was more Mary than Martha for once.  I enjoyed listening to my brother-in-law, Patrick, discuss his college days with my amazed and appalled nieces.  I laughed watching my youngest son and his cousin use my iPhone to take videos of their ties and make them talk.  I had breakfast with a second-cousin-in-law who has somehow grown up overnight into a charming, brilliant, funny, and thoughtful young man who I’m sure will turn the world on its ear one day soon.

I WANT to be more Mary, less Martha, but is that possible?  I’m not sure.  I do know that I will probably never think of this scripture without visualizing Martha as very much like me – rumpled clothes and windblown hair, hands on hips and eyes rolling as she sees Mary (freshly pressed and well-coiffed) sitting serenely at Jesus’s feet while Martha does all the work.  And I apologize in advance but I have to say this: Don’t you think Jesus was probably pretty happy later that SOMEONE had fixed him a nice, hot meal and made up a bed with clean, sweet-smelling sheets?  If it was a woman writing this gospel they’d have included that part.  Are you a Martha or a Mary?  If you manage to be somewhere in between, please tell me how!

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16 thoughts on “Martha and Mary ~ Saints and Scripture Sunday”

  1. I hate to say I’m a Martha, sometimes to the point I make everyone around me crazy. If I ever get caught up maybe I’ll try becoming more of a Mary. Wishful thinking.

  2. Martha, Martha, Martha!!

    And I think we’re both married to Mary’s, for sure 🙂

    What in the world is Beverly doing up so early!

    Thank you so much for joining in!

  3. It’s a good thing there are lots of Martha’s or what would get done? I, however, am not a Martha. I think that Mary probably did work some days because what woman didn’t back then? And I think that Martha sat at Jesus’s feet sometimes–because when her brother died she understood all Jesus had been saying and could repeat it back to Him . . . or maybe like the Marhta’s I envy, she could do so many things at once she didn’t need to take a seat!

  4. I feel like I need to try to have some Martha in me. Because I tend to put off all I need to do by saying that I’m doing what is important…but there are still some chores tha just can’t be neglected. And I’m bad at that.

  5. I think this is such an important story to be included in the scriptures. It testifies to their truthfulness. God knows the nature of women. He knows how difficult it is for us to live in the moment because we are so often lost taking care of everything. I am grateful for the lesson this teaches me. Take time to just stop and be for a while. Especially in those moments that might not come again.

    And if I get a few basics done, I can relax about the little things and be with the people I love.

  6. Happy SITS day! I have teenagers too… (I am not actually their birth mother but I love them as if I was…and one is even considered an adult now). Anyway, I love the story of Mary and Martha. I was such a Martha for a long time but since 2006 I feel I have slowly been switching to the Mary roll…though I’m not quite completely there. It’s difficult at times to let go of the worldly schedules and desires to go sit at the foot of the Lord and really listen. 🙂 Maybe I am half and half… Mary the first part of the day putting the Lord first, and Martha the latter part of the day fulfilling duties foremost. 🙂 Anyway, thank you for the post and sharing your heart. It is nice to “meet” you. Perhaps we will run into each other at a “Bloggy Boot Camp” sometime. Best wishes.

    Kindest regards,
    Brook
    http://www.Matt5verse6.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I have already bought my ticket for the Bloggy Boot Camp in San Diego and I’m planning on going to Chicago as well – will you be at either of those? And you sound like the perfect combination of Martha and Mary – that’s what I’m shooting for! 🙂

  7. Happy SITS day! I have teenagers too… (I am not actually their birth mother but I love them as if I was…and one is even considered an adult now. :::sniff:::” Anyway, I love the story of Mary and Martha. I was such a Martha for a long time but since 2006 I feel I have slowly been switching to the Mary roll…though I’m not quite completely there. I feel It’s difficult at times to let go of the worldly schedules (and desires) to go sit at the feet of the Lord and really listen. 🙂 Maybe I am half and half…Mary the first part of the day putting the Lord first and Martha the latter part of the day fulfilling duties foremost. 🙂 Anyway, thank you for the post and sharing your heart. It is nice to “meet” you. Best wishes.

    Kindest regards,
    Brook
    http://www.Matt5verse6.blogspot.com

  8. Wow, this one REALLY got me!!! I am always a busy body when I have company!! I am going to really work on slowing down and just enjoying the company of someone else without having to DO the whole time!! Thanks Angie!

  9. Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

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