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 10:41-42.
During the message on July 17th, there was reflection on both business and distraction throughout last week. Nightly church meetings to continue and further the work, witness, and ministry of the congregation. In this business and distraction, was also the recognition of needing to hear this passage from Luke (10:38-42). It’s a short passage, but a powerful passage.
I know I need to move forward, and begin to delve deeper into next week’s message, but Jesus’ words to Martha keep playing in my head.
For a brief moment, take Martha’s name out of the above passage, and add your name in Martha’s place. What do you hear? Hopefully, Jesus telling you also that you are worried and distracted over many things.
Distractions? Oh, a few. But last week’s distractions and business can probably be added to a long list of distractions from the past few months: Vaughn’s health, preparing the house to be sold, finding a house closer to the church, all of the tasks involved with keeping a house marketable while on the market, extended family concerns, concerns about the life of the congregation, . . . My list could go on.
To be distracted can mean to be pulled in multiple directions at one time, without any particular focus. If this is true, then these distractions over the past months have prevented me from being fully present to you, dear brothers and sisters, dear friends in Christ. For that, I am deeply and truly sorry.
Yes, we can argue that life has a way of keeping us busy and out of trouble. Yes, we can argue that family comes first. But in the grander scheme of things, what it comes down to is the absence of focus on the one needful thing that Mary found: the connection to Jesus and to one another. We cannot support one another if we do not spend time together. We cannot know more about the other if we do not share with one another.
And so, things will, and can change. They must – I must.
The story of Mary and Martha is a story of balance between rest and work. More importantly, it is a story of balance between people and projects.
As you continue this day, this week, take time for others. Let them know you love them and care for them. Let others know you are thinking about them. Take time, too, to focus on Jesus. Spend time with Jesus.
Blessings and grace,