A Message to Martha ("Martha, Martha, Martha…")

Happy Wednesday! I’m so distracted today! I just can’t seem to focus. And it’s not even my normal “AAADBD” disorder (angie’s adult attention deficit blonde disorder) – which, by the way, is such a long title, I forget what I’m saying half-way through!

It’s more: I’m still thinking about women and their influence. (I discussed this recently in “The Biggest Loser”). This matters a lot to me lately because there are a bunch of new believers in my world now, and I’m so distracted by my sense of protection for them. I don’t want them to be tainted by the religious, and their view of how godly women should function – which so often, because I was brought-up in the very culture I’m talking about, unfortunately includes me. How will they learn how to be “Mary” when the church is so full of “Martha“s.

I’ve heard countless Bible studies about Mary-Vs.-Martha. It’s even a fad among church-women now to say something like, “Well, I’m a Martha, but I’m TRYING to be a Mary” – maybe the problem is the TRYING – we’re still having to be in control! And, in my humble opinion, IT’S NOT WORKING!!!!!!! It’s cool to say “I wanna be like Mary – just sitting at Jesus’ feet!”, but the reality is we want to remind everyone how we are the exception because we’re so perfectly suited for all the “churchy” tasks that “sitting” anywhere is a real loss to the community around us – After all, “What will all the common people do if I don’t bake my award-winning casserole for the Covered-Dish, while giving my advice to everyone about how the pastor could really improve his sermons, and strategically giving disapproving looks at that teenager who is NOT dressed like she’s going to church… praise the Lord!”

We all want to SAY we admire Mary, but only want to “sit” if we get credit – like sitting down to our Tuesday Bible study, not to be confused with our Thursday prayer group, or our Monday night evangelism class. But how much of it is leading us to be more like Jesus – to be about the things HE cares about? If the attitude of most church-women that I’ve met is any indicator… – Well, I think I’ll go find that inappropriately-dressed teenager and talk with her a while, and let her know that God loves her and get a reality check about where Jesus spent his time.

Maybe I just need to be reminded of what truly set Mary and Martha a part: What they did with their love for Jesus. While Martha did lots of “stuff”, and couldn’t let go of her incessant need for approval (sound familiar?), Mary just wanted to find out what Jesus really cared about – not to be lazy, but to absorb the mission – time was short, and instead of asking others what “jobs” were important, she went straight to the Source. Is not the time growing short for us – how many “studies” does it take to motivate us to GET OUT THERE! How many times will we let the “good things” distract us from what Jesus did and would do today.

If we really decide to GET REAL, put down our “study-guides”, and DO SOMETHING – ANYTHING that causes us to really follow Christ, then we will be tempted to be terrified, we will lose many of the relationships we think we can’t live without, we will be criticized by almost everyone, we will be misunderstood by many, and we will often feel alone – especially around the “Martha”s – but in the eyes of Jesus we will see His mission if we look closely enough – then, we just have to decide if we’re willing to follow.

Laying it all down to follow Jesus!: It’s not just a “good thing”, it’s everything! The new believers in my world are counting on us – and just so I’m clear: IF YOUR IDEA OF A GODLY WOMAN INCLUDES THE BEHAVIOR I’VE WITNESSED IN RECENT MONTHS BY SO MANY CHURCH-GIRLS, (“the biggest loser” ring a bell?) – STAY AWAY FROM THE NEW BELIEVERS IN MY WORLD – please stay in your Bible-studies, prayers groups and evangelism classes – please keep your “religion” under wraps!

I guess I could take some comfort in the fact that because all the “Martha”s are going to stay in the kitchen, there’s tons of room at Jesus’ feet. (This might comfort me if it didn’t make me want to weep).

Increase the peace! (and the “sitting”).


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