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
My children grew maybe things would change. I’d sit quietly trying to absorb the message and my thoughts drifted off to the stack of laundry that needed to be done. 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 – to dwell in the Word.
Now that I’m a grandmother, I realize that time spent in the Word of God is so important. Still I don’t always take time to bury myself in scripture or put God at the top of my priority list.
Jesus visited the town of Bethany on several occasions. He made a point of seeing His friends, Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. As Jesus was teaching, Mary listened intently, while her sister busied herself with making a meal.
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. We may even be underestimating the power of the Holy Spirit in this case. I don’t believe Jesus’ love for Mary was greater than Martha. He loved them equally.
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. This is why we take our children to church when they’re small. We’re turning them over to God’s power and praying His Word will flow in their little hearts, just as it 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. She also knew that there was life after death. 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.