READ LUKE 10:38-42
When I was a young woman, there seemed to be a ton of distractions. For example, when we’d go to church with our three children, I felt like I was getting nothing out of the service, because one or the other was making a fuss or creating a scene and would have to leave the sanctuary so others could hear the message.
As my children grew up, maybe things would change. As I’d sit quietly trying to absorb the message my thoughts drifted off to the stack of laundry that needed to be done before Monday. I focused on how we’d be able to stretch the household budget and make enough to pay our bills. Often I was not really focusing on what was truly important.
In my daily living, I concerned myself with having a clean house, with everything in its place. This was nearly impossible as my kids turned into teenagers. There were piles of stuff everywhere and I had no clue where they belonged. I was so worried about the details and busyness of living, I forgot to take time to ponder.
Ponder is kind of an ancient word. I recall one of my students saying that Mary pounded those things in her heart. Ponder and pounded sound similar I guess. They could also mean the same thing. The thoughts Jesus’ mother pondered were definitely pounded in place and must have resurfaced when the nails were pounded into her Son’s hands.
But, I’m getting off track ….
Now that I’m a grandmother and growing older, I realize that time spent in the Word of God is so important. Now I have plenty of time to ponder.
Jesus visited the town of Bethany on several occasions. He made a point of seeing His friends, Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. In the story referenced in my reading for today (Luke 10:38-42) we find Jesus teaching Mary while her sister busied herself with making a meal and doing the necessary chores to make the house look nice.
I certainly can relate to Martha. I think she gets a bum rap in this story, since she isn’t paying attention to the important words Jesus had to share. Mary, on the other hand, sat at His feet and listened intently. I don’t believe that Jesus’ love for Mary was greater than Martha. He loved them equally. What he was talking about was the fact that Mary had chosen to listen to what He was teaching.
I wonder if Martha was still listening as she prepared the meal. Maybe as she stirred the lamb and barley chowder and baked the flat bread, some of Jesus’ words trickled into her brain. Again I recall those days, being in God’s house with my children occupying my time during the sermon. Those words were not falling on deaf ears. We should never underestimate the power of God’s Word nor His Holy Spirit. This is why we take our children to church when they’re small. We’re turning them over to that power and praying that God will place His Word in their little hearts, just as He does in ours.
Later in the story of Jesus is called to raise Lazarus from the dead. Martha ran to meet Him when he finally returned to Bethany after her brother lay in the grave for four days. She had faith that Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’ life. She put her confidence in him to do something. At that point, Jesus called out and Lazarus came to the opening of the tomb, still in his burial garb, fully alive.
As the Pharisees heard and saw this, a plot was set in motion to get rid of the man, Jesus. He was a rabble rouser and trouble maker, who was interfering with their agenda.