Just a short time before Christ's crucifixion, Jesus visited Mary, Martha and Lazarus for what would be the final time. Jesus knew it would be the last time he would enter their home - A fact that eluded his three closest friends.
Upon His arrival, Martha was busy doing what Martha did best - serving. On two separate occasions when Jesus arrived at his friends’ home, Martha greeted and welcomed Him and the disciples warmly. But, then she “was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” (NLT) While Martha hustled and bustled, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, not just listening this time as she had previously, but washing Jesus’ feet with a valuable bottle of perfume, which she then wiped clean with her own hair.
Martha was put out by Mary’s display and became cross with her. Jesus was giving Mary all the attention while she slaved in the kitchen! After all, wasn’t she a grand hostess, practical, efficient, hospitable and a born leader? Who did Mary think she was? In her foolish belief that Jesus cared less about her and her act of worship, Martha demanded that Jesus tell Mary to come and help her. Yet, Jesus reminded Martha,“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Unfortunately, Martha had taken her eyes off Her Savior. Martha was so concerned with the details and the presentation that she forgot the most important thing was to spend time with Jesus. Jesus was not upset that Martha loved to serve, for He was the one who had given her these desires. But, spending time with Him is what He desired most from her - and that is what He desires most from us.
Too often, I see Martha’s reflection staring back at me in the mirror. The busyness, the demands, the chaos and expectations I place on myself, distract me from the only thing that My Savior truly wants from me - to spend time with Him. The very qualities and desires He gave me were never meant to take the place of my relationship with Him.
Father, in light of the upcoming celebration of Your death and resurrection, I rededicate and commit myself to eliminating my self-made distractions. Though I will use my gifts and my talents to serve you, they were not given to me to replace relationship and time spent in You. Father, help me balance service with worship to You. Lord, I am yours. Amen.