June 28 I Monday
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to [Jesus] and asked, ‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’” —Luke 10:40
When Jesus went to visit the sisters, Mary and Martha, we find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening intently to what He was teaching, and Martha who was preoccupied with getting things ready. Before we address Martha’s reaction to what was going on, we have to appreciate her kindness, hospitality and welcoming heart towards Jesus and His disciples. She had a well-intentioned desire to serve.
There was a huge gathering at Mary’s home and she became overwhelmed. Martha exclaimed to Jesus, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40). Many of us could relate to Martha feeling distracted, disgruntled and overwhelmed with all the preparations. In the summers prior to the pandemic, some of us may have hosted BBQs and potluck parties. We would be running around cleaning, and making the home ready, as we put the final preparations together. Usually, the way it plays out amongst a couple is that one person entertains the guests while the other person is in the kitchen or the grill trying to finish putting together the meal. We could imagine ourselves being the one making those final preparations, and we hear laughter, free flowing conversations and fun that is taking place in another part of the home. Before long, we start to feel like we are missing out on the party.
Martha’s comment to Jesus showed her growing frustration when there were things to be done and no one was helping. Her remark was almost like saying, “Don’t You care, Jesus? Don’t You see all this ministry and serving that I am trying to do is for You?” Martha went from distracted to disgruntled to a dictator, as she dictated to Jesus what He should be doing in this situation.
This is such an easy trap for us to fall into, especially in ministry. As a pastor, I cannot confess how many times over my life have I fallen into the same path as Martha. We could get so busy with serving that feelings of resentment may start to grow within us as we look around and notice people who may not be serving as hard we are. We start to wonder, why does everybody else seemingly get to relax while I’m doing all this work? If we are not careful, we can begin to complain to Jesus about how He should be running His church.
Martha’s attitude reminds us that our desire to do good things for Jesus can actually end with resentment towards the very One we are eager to serve. May we check our heart attitude as we serve, and confess of times when we serve grudgingly.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for the privilege of being a part of Your ministry work. I confess of times when I served with frustration. Help me find joy in my heart as I serve You faithfully.