Jesus’ words to Martha may be seen as an invitation. In a culture of hectic schedules and the relentless pursuit of productivity, we are tempted to measure our worth by how busy we are, by how much we accomplish, or by how well we meet the expectations of others. Perhaps, many in our congregations likely identify with Martha. Feeling pulled in different directions, feeling worried and distracted by many things-these seem to be common threads of life in our fast-paced world.
It is true that much of our busyness and distraction stems from the noblest of intentions. We want to provide for our families, we want to give our children every opportunity to enrich their lives, we want to serve our neighbours, and yes, we want to serve the Lord. Indeed, where would the church be without its “Martha’s,” those faithful folk who perform the tasks of hospitality and service so vital to making the church a welcoming and well-functioning community?
And yet if all our activities leave us with no time to be still in the Lord’s presence and hear God’s word, we are likely to end up anxious and troubled. We are likely to end up with a kind of service that is devoid of love and joy and is resentful of others.
There is need of only one thing: attention to our guest. As it turns our, our guest is also our host, with abundant gifts to give.