Originally Published January 16, 2011
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.
40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
I enjoy staging productions and events when I have time and the occasion calls for it. I put together business events when I worked a “real” job. I staged musicals when I directed children’s choirs. But the production I enjoyed staging the most was my wedding.
I didn’t have a wedding planner. Hardly anyone did back then, and, besides, I wanted to do it myself. I had a ball picking out flowers, shopping for the cake, and taking care of all the other arrangements. But even though I enjoyed those things, on my wedding day, I wasn’t immersed in taking care of little details. I was focused on my husband. It would have been silly of me to neglect him in favor of rearranging centerpieces or something like that. And, today, my marriage would be a pretty cold place if all I ever did was fold my husband’s laundry and serve him meals without us spending any time just enjoying each other’s company.
It’s easy to see how those kinds of scenarios would be detrimental to a marriage. But as members of the bride of Christ, we do things like this all the time. We get wrapped up in serving God and substitute that we forget about sitting at His feet and loving Him. It’s like having a birthday party without the guest of honor. Or a marriage without a husband.
Serving God in ministry is important– after all, if no one put his hand to the plow and served, we’d have no pastors, teachers, missionaries, etc. –but our one on One relationship with God should take precedence over everything else. We get the cart before the horse when our relationship with the Lord is completely tied up in ministry and its results and effectiveness rather than in our own individual relationship with a Person– Jesus Christ.
I’ve always jokingly said that God needs Marthas like me, because without us, nothing in the Kingdom would get done. But I’m discovering that’s not true. God doesn’t need the efforts of any human being in order to get Kingdom work accomplished. He’s quite capable of getting the work done on His own. And, frequently, the tasks on my list that I think need to be done are not the same as the items on His agenda.
Therefore they said to Him,
“What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
God isn’t my boss; He’s my bridegroom.
He doesn’t need my work; He wants my heart.
It’s my job to love Him, to know Him, to have an intimate relationship with Him.
‘Scuse me, I’ve got some work to catch up on.