Theme verse: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
Set up the platform to represent a cozy living room with a sofa, easy chairs, coffee mug, Bible and journal.
Read: Luke 10:38-42.
- What words describe each of the sisters.
- If you could sum up Mary in one word, what would it be?
- In one word describe Martha.
- Which one of these sisters do you relate to more closely and why?
Worship Song Suggestions
There seems to be so much to do and so little time to accomplish it. The twenty–four hours allotted to us each day rarely stretches far enough to meet all our obligations. There are commitments, deadlines, obligations … life is packed, and the hours are full.
We read the story of Mary and Martha, which is in Luke 10. Jesus is approaching the town of Bethany just east of Jerusalem. As He moves towards the Holy city, He is invited into Mary and Martha’s home. As the head of the household, Martha is bustling around getting everything ready for Jesus’ visit. She is, as Scripture says, “making preparations.” Everything she is doing is for the visit of Jesus.
Perhaps she has done away with her ordinary, everyday menu of soup and bread, intent on preparing a banquet fit for a Messiah—The Messiah. I can imagine that Martha sends one servant to the field to slaughter a lamb, another to the market to pick up the fruit. Like a military general, she barks commands … soak the lentils! Pound the grain! Knead the dough! She must make sure the centerpieces and the napkins match, that the servant pours the beverage from the right and not the left. Martha’s mind is busy and abuzz. What would be just right for dessert? Will Jesus and His followers stay overnight? Oh, my goodness … fold the sheets! Change the towels!
And in the other room, in contrast to Martha, is her sister Mary who is sitting at Jesus’ feet. Martha comes to Mary and Jesus, and she says, “Jesus, Lord, she is not helping! Would you ask her to help me?” And Jesus speaks up and gently rebukes her saying “your sister Mary has done the better thing.”
We don’t know precisely what Martha was distracted by, but we do know that she is getting things done for her visitors. She is making preparations. She is doing good things. But good things can distract us from being with Christ. And Jesus told her that He would have preferred for her to be with Him rather than work for Him.
When we look at this story, at this Bethany backdrop of unexpected guests and expectations, we see the struggle that we face every day when work and worship collide. When doing seems far more important than dwelling, and when life is marked by distraction rather than devotion. Part of me is Mary; I want to worship extravagantly, and I want to dwell at His feet. But a big part of me is Martha—there is just so much to do.
We can get caught up like Martha, feeling as though we must prove our love to God by doing great things for Him. Mary is known to this very day for her devotion. And Martha is memorialized to this day by her distraction. What marks you? Do those who know you best say “she is utterly devoted to her God?” Or do they say, “Well, she is always stressed out and harried? She is distracted, pulled away from what is most important.” Don’t rush past the intimacy of the living room to be in the kitchen—doing great things for Him.
God desires to make our dwelling place His presence. His heart’s cry is for us just to be with Him. And then, from that place of companionship and intimacy, we will journey on with Him in His protection and great provision.
There is an old Jewish saying, “May you be covered with the dust of your Rabbi”… may you walk so close to your teacher, your friend, your Savior, that you are covered in His dust … His goodness, mercy, grace, protection, and provision.
Come out of the kitchen, sink into the richness of His presence, and stay there. Delight yourself, commit every worry, every care into His loving hands.
In closing play the video—Mary & Martha: https://youtu.be/ssR9P30AWOY.