That's where you all say, "Hello Martha!"
Not literally. My name is Courtney. Like in the web address.
But I'm a Martha out of Luke 10.
"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'"
The first thing I notice about this passage is that Martha is a tattle tale.
I may or may not have been one of those in school.
But mostly, I relate to her because I'm a preparer.
Now, most of you know that I (thankfully) live with my parents! Since I'm 22 and still in college and working full time, they let me live with them.
Not really "let me". I stay because they cried too hard when I told them I was moving out.
That's a lie. It'd be a celebration. That's a lie too.
I may have demanded that I'm staying. (I mean come on! The church is a half of a mile from their/our house! I could practically walk.. If there weren't HUGE hills...)
But this means that apart from my dorm years, I don't have a house to decorate and call ALL my own. So naturally, I decorate vicariously through (super-patient) JD. He recently upgraded to a larger house and I've been decorating it while he tries to ignore it. But the gauntlet was thrown down a few months ago when his grandparents decided to come for a visit.
Mom always taught my sister and I to stuff our guests full of good food, entertain as long as they could handle it, stick them in a too-comfortable bed and have bacon ready when they woke up the next morning.
Now I, being Martha, went into full time preparation mode, months in advance. New curtains were hung, a new bed was bought, we painted, I made canvases, I bought two new sets of towels for their bathroom (the first set wasn't good enough!), I made JD gravel the driveway that was bumpy, we bought groceries and a water jar for their bedroom in case they got thirsty, etc., etc., etc.,. I was still decorating and preparing the moment that they arrived. I literally broke out because I was so stressed about having not-my-family over to not-my-house.
And I did all that to make sure JD was prepared to do exactly what Mom taught me. And let me tell you.. that house is spectacular! He could easily run a B&B.
I did so much preparation that by the time they got to his house on Friday night, my feet already hurt from running around all day preparing. We hadn't taken a weekend off to enjoy in weeks. Every weekend had projects. I had worn myself, and probably JD, out in the preparation period. I was so tired that I had a hard time keeping up all weekend to help entertain them when they were actually here.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Sure, the prep work was needed. And they loved the towels. (a lot.) There's nothing wrong with being hospitable. In fact, we're supposed to be hospitable! But I ran a fine line between being hospitable and being consumed by hospitality and not the people I was with. Luckily, his grandparents were so fun to be around that they kept us entertained!
I do the same for the Lord, ya know.
I want to become the best servant I can for Him. But I can't get consumed by wanting that. I have to remember who I serve. And I have to spend time with Him, both in His Word and in prayer. I can't get busy doing work for Him and forget that He wants me, not only what I produce.
That's why worship every Sunday is so important to me. I worship Him everyday, but when I get to sing with my brothers and sisters, it forces me to be Mary. Every week, we get to spend time worshiping the Lord, hearing from Him through His word and being near to Him. By the time we get there Sunday, no more preparation can be done. All we can do is sit at His feet and converse.
This past weekend, October 14th, we sang:
"All My Fountains" by Chris Tomlin (I mean, really, does it get better than this song?! Hallelujah!)
"God is Able" by Hillsong (I love that song. So much.)
"Holy, Holy, Holy (Savior & King)" by Gateway Worship (probably my favorite hymn)
and "My Hope" by Paul Baloche (off of his incredible worship album that I wrote about here.)
So this week, I challenge us all:
When we gather to worship on Sunday,
let's set our Martha tendencies aside.
Don't worry about your hair or the fact that you were late.
Don't worry about your kids in the nursery. I promise they are being taken care of.
Don't worry about the fact that you haven't prayed since last Sunday.
Let's pick up our Mary tendencies.
Sit and wait for the Lord to speak to you.
Don't let the hour go by.
Take advantage of the time that you've set aside to be with the Lord.
If you'll settle down for chat, He'll talk.
See you Sunday!!