We all live busy lives, and often at the end of the day we are still left with things we would have wanted to tick off our to-do list. These important things, as well as time for rest and relaxation, often has a way of competing with our time for the Lord and being spiritually refreshed.
In Luke 10:38-42, we are told of how Jesus was invited to Martha and Mary’s house, possibly for a meal. As was his practice, while there, Jesus seized on the opportunity to teach the people gathered in the house. Martha was busy serving the guests and making sure that they were taken care of, while Mary was sat at Jesus’ feet listening to his teachings. Eventually, Martha, feeling a sense of frustration that her sister was perhaps being lazy and had left all the work to her, complained to Jesus saying; “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” Luke 10:40.
In church ministry, those who serve weekly can often identify with Martha’s response because it could sometimes feel quite tiring and taxing on one’s joy of serving without enough helpers. The truth however is, someone has got to serve, and without the willing hands and hearts in the church, nothing functions. Without the worship team, tech and media team, welcome team, children and youth volunteers, refreshment team, prayer ministry team (etc.), the church will feel very dull. It is the weekly commitment of willing individuals to serve the Lord and to give to the ministry that makes a great difference to our meetings. Thank you all for making the church a better place of worship.
Teaching on the importance of willingly serving, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45. Being a servant is therefore a mark of a true disciple of Jesus, the servant King.
However, on this occasion, Jesus’ response was different. He said to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” Luke 10:41-42.
What was the ‘portion’ that Mary had chosen? It was her intentional decision to be spiritually refreshed by the Lord’s teachings.
Like Mary, have you made that choice and time to be spiritually refreshed?
Often, we can get so busy that we scarcely factor in the time for worship, personal reflection, and spiritual nourishment. For some in church ministry, we can sometimes get so busy with serving and miss out on those precious times of corporate worship, listening to a sermon and fellowshipping with others. Sometimes, we may also indirectly find an identity in serving in church that on the days we are off rota, we may even perceive it as a day off from the church and we miss out on being spiritually refreshed.
Essentially, Jesus’ message to Martha and to all of us, is to serve the Lord with all our hearts, but also to make time for the things that do matter (our spiritual well-being and the nourishing of our souls).
In your daily pursuits, may you also seek to be spiritually refreshed, as it is the better ‘portion’ that holds a blessing both physically and spiritually.