Minister's Minute: Mary and Martha

One of the familiar stories in the New Testament is that of the two sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus was invited into their home by Martha when he entered their village. Then Martha was busy with her many tasks, including those associated with offering hospitality to a guest.

The other sister, Mary, only sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to what he was saying. This annoyed Martha, understandably, and she complained about her slacker-sister to Jesus.

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“Tell her then to help me,” an exasperated Martha says to Jesus. Somewhat surprisingly, Jesus tells Martha: “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 from her.”

Not such a satisfying response for those of us who are used to being active, doing our part and being fair. Sometimes, though, it’s better not to be so active, to slow down and have some “quiet time,” to notice what is beautiful around us in nature, to enjoy the presence of another person and to experience peace.

“The better part” is sometimes to slow down and let go of our busyness.

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