Again. She is there again. Doing everything right while I am being responsible.
That’s me. In this Bible story for the second, actually third time.
Mary is anointing Jesus at Bethany and it’s breathtakingly beautiful. And Martha? Look at the text:
It was enough that Mary sat at the feet of Jesus while Martha worked to provide for Jesus and his followers (Lk 10:41). But Mary is at it again. Enjoying worshipping Jesus while Martha works.
Yes, Mary chose wisely. She chose better. She chose relationship.
Martha chose responsibility.
But even responsibility is second best to worshiping Jesus.
That’s me. Ever responsible. Always taking on the weight of things when no one else seems to care. And yet, they are critical things that have to be done. Like figuring out how to keep caring for loved ones when the finances end.
So I work. And work. And work some more. And it cuts into my worship. My worship.
And Mary is right.
I feel like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son. You know him. The younger brother is wild and careless and disrespectful. He run off with the inheritance prior to his father’s death and spends on wine, women and song. Meanwhile the older brother continues to be responsible. He works in the fields and helps his father.
When the wild son comes around, the Father throws him a huge party and gives him the best of everything. Meanwhile the older brother is overlooked yet again. Unappreciated. Not respected. Passed over even though he is faithful.
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ (Lk 15:28-30).
And there is Mary. Doing what she wants–worshipping. While Martha is doing what she doesn’t want–working.
Worship and Work.
Mary chose better.
Perhaps I should, too.