Distractions in a Distracted World; What Does Jesus Ask of Our Hearts?       

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10; 41-42 NLT)

In Luke 10:38, we are introduced to a story that still vividly impacts us today. In this chapter, Jesus & His disciples were passing through Jerusalem & they stopped at a village where a woman named Martha had lived. John 11:5 tells us that “Jesus loved Martha, Mary’s (sister) & Lazarus.” Through the scripture, we are brought to a setting where Martha invited Jesus into her home to host & have supper with traveling Jesus. 

Martha is busting her behind getting a big supper ready for them to enjoy. She is prepping the house and warming up the food. Much like what we do today when we are hosting & preparing a big party for our people. We crunch out every detail of the space. The perfect meal plan, the right flowers in place, the newest set of table decor from HomeGoods, the right amount of wine to serve, the games to play to ensure quality time; the list goes on and on. We are itching to make the space fun and perfect in our home. And let’s admit it, we want to win the title of “best hostess” or “the most fun home to be in.” We have that little competitive string in our hearts that wants to serve our best, but also maybe impress our folks with our hosting skills.

In this story,  I can sense the pressure Martha may be feeling. Jesus is in her home. The King of Kings is in her living room space. Everything needs to be perfect, right? 

Here is how this scene unfolds. 

Luke 10:39-41 (NLT) tells us “Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
 “But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, are you worried and upset over all these details? There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was distracted. Reread the second sentence, and remind yourself that Martha was distracted by the big dinner. When you are distracted, you forget. She was forgetting about Jesus because she was so distracted by the complexity of hosting dinner. I read this verse and immediately heard the words “guilty as charged.” Knowing me, I would be vacuuming to make sure every crumb is removed from my kitchen floor, my dining table laced with florals from the garden, and stuffing the oven with meals that have a billion steps and ingredients that I have never heard of. Distractions upon distractions. 

Are we so distracted that we do not see Jesus sitting & teaching in our living room? Jesus was right there in the presence of her home. Like Martha, we have a sense of urgency as we rush through getting the laundry done, dinner on the table, the coffee made, our hair done just right, and getting our workout in, but are we fighting for our time to be with Jesus? 

How can we become more like Mary, and just sit at Jesus’ feet? Just sit in His presence. Jesus proceeds to tell Martha that “there is only one thing to be concerned about.” And the answer is Him. We should be most concerned about Jesus and His teachings.

Jesus is the only thing we should be concerned about amidst frantic mornings & stressful holiday hostings. I think this message is applicable in two ways. One way is the question:  are we so distracted in our everyday lives that we forget the only thing we should focus on…Jesus? We ought to be more like Mary and gather to sit at His feet & simply listen. 

The other applicable way is from a hosting perspective. Are we so distracted with food preparation and party decorations, that we forget the presence of Jesus in our space & atmosphere? This is where I would be more than happy to hold a “guilty as charged” poster. I get so distracted with worldly things when it comes to event planning, that I forget that Jesus is sitting in my living room. Are my guests getting the opportunity to know Jesus, my favorite guest in my living room? 

 After reading this scripture, can we be better at inviting Jesus into every aspect of our hosting endeavors?

This week, let’s just simply sit in Jesus’s presence. Maybe Martha ought to order Hello Fresh next time or get a pizza delivered.  All jokes aside, I think Martha had the best intentions of making dinner for her people. This story in the Bible does not say Martha should’ve skipped dinner altogether. Sharing meals with others is very important (hence the Last Supper & the feeding multitudes by breaking bread/fish in John 6 ).

  Jesus just wants to remind us that above all of us, we should only be concerned about Him & His heavenly Kingdom. No house is going to be perfect enough & no dinner is going to be perfect enough because perfection is a worldly standard. Jesus asks us to sit with Him and discover what Mary discovers. 

Jesus’s presence. 

When we get distracted, maybe it’s time for us to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him.

As always, let this message shine in your hearts!

With all my heart,

Haley 🙂

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