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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Mary and Martha's Vineyard

Life gets busy. Really busy. We’re stretched in numerous directions while facing a litany of endless deadlines. It’s always something before we collapse into bed in the wee hours. 

Martha knew all about this. The busy sister. The world can’t run without invested Marthas. God knows this and intentionally gave Marthas their drive. Male or female, this personality organizes, coordinates, produces and runs countries. Without Marthas, life would be disorganized and primary.

Mary knew about this too. The devoted sister. Same world can’t run without intuitive Marys. God likewise designed this personality and gave Marys their perception. They listen, observe, advise, and savor life’s beauty. Without Marys, life would be regimented and exhausting.  

Marys need Marthas and Marthas need Marys. But both need The Vineyard.

The Bethany Sisters are meticulously highlighted for our review. Their types run throughout Scripture; however, Luke fastened them to parchment. Jesus was so comfortable with their polarized strengths that His itinerary wove its way to their doorstep. Chef Martha, Innkeeper Mary, and Concierge Lazarus made their Judean address a five-star stopover. The “Vineyard” was booked for a stayover.

The Vineyard. An enriched field brimming with hearty vines, guaranteed to produce under the watchful oversight of the Vinedresser. He’s careful to ensure mature fruit; requiring pruning for the best harvest and vitality of the plant. Strategic pruning, which while momentarily unpleasant, brings the Vinedresser in closest proximity to us.

It’s non-accidental to find ourselves with both sisters’ priorities. We locate Martha fluttering about her well-organized kitchen. The Master and Company have arrived and 13 hungry mouths await her culinary prowess. Lazarus readied foot washing for their guests while Mary stood alongside her sister cutting vegetables in preparation. Wrong. She’s seated at her place of joy: Christ’s feet. The heat of the kitchen caused more than the fire to flare. 

...“Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me.” Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her.” Luke 10:40-42 (MEV)

Cue the 21st century. Texting, social media, 60-hour workweeks, aging parents, worn brake pads, family illnesses, missed deadlines, and more month than money. An overabundance of Martha maladies. And if we stop, dare to slow down, what disasters will result? Who’s going to complete it if we don’t do it ourselves as galvanized taskmasters?

God lovingly calls us out of our hot kitchens to the cool oasis of His presence. Offered long overdue relaxation, He motions to a soft pillow beside Him. It’s the only way to recalibrate from life’s demands, for our Good Shepherd knows we must be made to lie down in green pastures for soul restoration.

It’s true; mankind cannot live by bread alone. We’re not mere humans but spiritual beings as well; needing to feed on every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. Everyone must satiate the Mary factor woven into us that nourishes our deepest needs. Bake Martha’s bread and savor its provision, but the menu items of hungering and thirsting after righteousness hold utmost priority in God’s economy. This is the good part—Christ referenced to all Marthas—that cannot be taken away.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (NASB)

The cares of this world will assuredly be overseen by its Creator, while He invites drinking deeply of His living water. Wisely invest in your Mary side. Your Martha is depending on it.

Copyright © 2019 Susan M. Watkins, Used with permission.

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