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 10:42)
Saltshaker Dinners are delightful meals with friends, enjoying delicious food, engaging conversation, and hearing inspiring life stories. They remind me of Martha joyously opening her home for Jesus and his entourage of friends when others would not.
What a dinner of daring, depth, and drama Martha hosted with friends, freely breaking societal norms, responding unexpectedly, and learning together! I relate easily to Martha’s stress amid passion to meet others’ needs. I am inspired by Jesus’ elevation of women and Mary’s courage to forego tradition to learn all she could from Jesus alongside the men gathered in the room. Martha’s daring outburst, comfortably telling friend Jesus what to do, is stunning until I recall recent prayer requests that included proposed solutions! Jesus’ response to Martha is revealing. Not elevating one personality type over another because both had God-honoring valuable purpose or saying that her service was unimportant, he saw the root cause of her outburst and led her lovingly from anxiety and comparison-driven discontent toward a balanced better way!
Acts of service coming from hearts overflowing with love from spending time with Jesus are marks of discipleship, but we must avoid comparisons that breed discontent and steal joy. We, too, must courageously confront cultural norms, pressures, and distractions, refusing to let them keep us from being able to offer him Martha-like works empowered by Mary-like worship!
Pause and consider whether serving is supplanting important time with God.
Sue Rickman, a retired public school principal and adjunct professor, is a wife, mother, and “Mimi” to two grands. She enjoys piano, reading, biking, and scrapbooking and serves on the General Board of The Wesleyan Church and World Hope International.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.