Making the Better Choice
Café Menu for Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Today’s Special is: Choosing Worship over Work
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Michelle S. Lazurek
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But 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!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 NIV
We all know the story. Two sisters in the presence of Jesus with two completely different reactions: one allows herself to get distracted by the cares of preparing a meal, while the other basks in the glory of the savior.
Personally, I like Martha. Martha’s one of my favorite people in the Bible. Perhaps it is because she is a workhorse like me, or perhaps it’s because she tells Jesus like it is:
Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!
Luke 10:40 NIV
Whatever the case, I’ve always thought Martha got the short end of the stick on Jesus’ gentle rebuke. That was, until I recently reread the passage. I noticed something about Jesus’ words to her. He never reprimands her for working! He only asks her not to allow the worries of the work to overwhelm her to the point of losing her focus on what is truly important.
Work is a good thing! God created work so that we can fulfill our purpose here on earth. However, in our task-oriented society, we often make to-do lists and plug along in our day, forgetting about the relationships and people God has placed in our lives.
How do we find our balance between a hard day’s work and adequate time to rest and fix our eyes on Jesus?
1) But few things are needed—or indeed only one—Jesus wants us to enjoy all aspects of our lives, including work and worship. Once we put Jesus first in our lives, everything else flows from it, including our work.
2) Mary has chosen what is better—Worship is a choice. Mary chose to make use of what little time she had at Jesus’ feet rather than in the kitchen. Martha, however, chose to allow the details of her dinner to overwhelm her. God wants us to choose Him over completing our tasks.
3) It will not be taken from her—Jesus makes a choice, too. He chooses not to honor Martha’s request of asking Mary to help Martha. When we choose to focus on our relationship with God rather than our tasks, God honors us by giving us the strength and perseverance to get our work done.
Lord, help us make the better choice of spending time with You rather than checking off our to-do list. Amen.
© 2014 by Michelle S. Lazurek. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 27 October 2015.