Our topic for the month of August is education.
These days “education” comes in a variety of ways. There’s public school, private school and the growing popularity of home school. Opinions will vary as to which is best, but regardless of the one your family chooses, one thing is consistent with all of them: at some point or another, the kids are going to have to sit and learn. Sitting is going to happen.
The bell rings or a parent gives direction and the children settle in, take a seat, and begin to learn. Their bodies stop moving (hopefully), distractions are removed and the learning process begins. You know, I have tried reading while walking the treadmill – it’s miserable (at least for me it was). To really take in information, one must be still and not distracted.
This brings me to the story of Martha and Mary. While praying what to write for this month, the Lord reminded me of these two sisters, so I took a seat, opened the Bible and began to learn.
Luke 10:38-42 tells the story of Jesus and His disciples coming to Martha and Mary’s house. I read this story over and over and one thing seemed pretty clear – Martha is a little fireball. Oh yes, she snaps at Jesus. In verse 40 she says to Him, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” You know, I don’t think she whispered this because she sounds completely exasperated. She obviously had a house full of company (which is why she is busy making preparation) and most likely everyone heard her. Then she really steps over the line and gives Jesus an order. Martha says to Jesus, “Tell her to help me!” Can you imagine giving Jesus an order? Wow… that’s pretty intense.
But isn’t Jesus so kind? He not only addresses Martha by name in verse 41, but he says her name twice. “Martha, Martha…” I think the equal verbiage of today would be, “You really need to chill out.” Jesus sees beyond Martha’s anger at her sister and tells her, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” Martha needs to take a seat. That’s where Mary was – sitting, learning, staring into the eyes of Jesus not worried about food or rituals. Who has time for that when the Son of God is in your home teaching you? I keep wondering if Martha sat down. The Bible doesn’t say, and I think I’ll ask her when I see her. Don’t you wonder how she reacted?
I can see myself in Martha – worried and upset about many things. Can you see yourself? Are you worried and upset about many things? Possibly distracted from the words of Jesus? Choose what Mary did because Jesus said she chose what was better. She chose to sit. We can’t say there isn’t time because Jesus would not instruct us to do something we couldn’t do or wouldn’t have time for. That would be defeating. Jesus did not shed his blood for defeat. He shed it for victory.
I love this little story of the two sisters. There is so much spiritual meat in it. Like Mary, I pray you too will find some time to sit and hear the voice of Jesus, to absorb his words and teaching. If I may quote Jesus, “It’s what is needed.”