“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and distracted about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:41-42
Jesus observes Martha as worried and distracted by her many tasks. She has welcomed Jesus and his disciples into her home. She has responsibilities as the hostess. Preparing a meal and offering a table for Jesus and his disciples is the customary practice. Her daily affairs become her preoccupation. These simple tasks become a source of worry and, ultimately, she is distracted from the only thing that matters.
Martha’s sister has chosen the better part. Mary’s sister has disregarded her responsibilities as a hostess so she can sit at the feet of Jesus. She assumes the position of a student so she can learn from the teacher. Mary attends to her guest by offering her ear and her heart to Jesus, who is the revelation of God’s Word and the great expression of God’s love.
There are two points to consider: 1) Martha and Mary exemplify Christian hospitality. Martha welcomes Jesus and Mary attends to Jesus. Hospitality is a mixture of welcoming and attending. 2) The story of Martha and Mary speaks more directly to us. Their story emphasizes a preoccupation with daily affairs.
Responsibility is a part of adulthood. To grow as an adult – as a functioning member of society – requires assuming responsibility. Tending to our daily affairs is necessary to maintain our many responsibilities.
What happens when we become preoccupied with our daily affairs? What happens when the ordinary, but necessary becomes our source of worry?
We become distracted.
Our preoccupation distracts us from the only thing that matters: attending to the revelation of God’s Word in Jesus and responding to the expression of God’s love in Christ.
In this week’s message, we enter into this very conversation from an interesting vantage point: Social Networking. We consider how our online activity serves as a gauge to determine the focus of our attention – Are we worried or distracted? Or, have we chosen the better part? What do the words (pictures) we share across social media say about the condition of our heart?
If you have a moment, have a listen to this week’s message, Worried & Distracted.