As a mom of two and having recently become a pastor’s wife, I find myself continually making lists of all the things that need to be done. The never-ending, mile-long list dictates every hour of my day.
Dishes. Laundry. Mediating kids' arguments. Responding to texts and answering phone calls. Paying bills. The list never ends.
Often, what falls by the wayside or gets crammed in at the end of my day is a time of devotion.
Several weeks ago as I was washing dishes, I was convicted when I realized I hadn’t taken the time to pray or read my Bible that morning.
“Just call me Martha,” I thought wryly. Always rushing from task to task and never taking time to breathe.
Martha. I dwelt on what I knew about her for few minutes as I started drying dishes.
Busy. Yep, I definitely busy.
Serving others. Yep. Welcome to ministry.
Frustrated that someone else wasn’t pulling their weight. Definitely been there a few times.
Lacking peace. Yep. Living in a whirlwind and feeling like I never can catch up.
I fit the profile of Martha to a T.
And yet, Jesus had rebuked her. By proxy, I probably deserved a rebuke myself.
I can picture her standing there, frustrated with Mary, and then absolutely aghast at Jesus’ rebuke. Wasn’t this God in the flesh?? Surely He understood how unfair this was. And "good part"?? What "good part"? She was doing things that must be done. Maybe Martha mentally reviewed her to-do list…wondering what had she missed. What was this mysterious “good part” that Jesus spoke of?
In her rush to get things done, Martha had missed one essential item that should’ve been at the top of her checklist.
The answer comes not in the rebuke to Martha, but the contrast of Mary.
Jesus said Mary had chosen the good part. What was that part?
While Martha’s work was necessary, it shouldn’t have been the priority.
Martha’s checklist probably looked so satisfying when she went to bed each night. I can imagine her satisfaction every evening, admiring her list with every item crossed off. Blowing out the candle in the kitchen, leaving it sparkling clean. Getting into a freshly made bed with clean sheets. She was definitely a hard worker.
But she was also missing out on getting to KNOW and spend time with Jesus during the short time of his ministry on earth.
She was missing the good part.
It was Martha’s sister, Mary, who broke the alabaster box of ointment and anointed Jesus for His burial (Matthew 26:7-13; John 11:1-2). It was Mary of whom Jesus said that her actions would be told as a memorial for her everywhere the gospel was preached.
Tell them everywhere about the lady who chose the good part. She chose relationship.
How can we apply that to our modern-day motherhood?
By making a decision, every day, to choose the good part: to prioritize our relationship with Jesus.
It’s easy to do that on lazy Saturday mornings. But what about during the rushed chaos of Monday morning?
I once read a quote from Martin Luther. When he had a super busy day, instead of decreasing his prayer time, he would increase it…knowing that it would only be by divine Providence that he would be able to complete everything he needed.
What if that was the part we chose? What if we chose relationship over the satisfaction of completing tasks?
That’s the part Martha missed.
The account of Mary breaking the box of ointment is recorded in three gospels. In Luke 7, Jesus forgives Mary’s sins and tells her to go in peace. She found what she needed most—forgiveness and peace.
There is peace and forgiveness in a relationship with Jesus that can’t be found anywhere else.
Mama, I challenge you today:
Choose the good part.