A Visit from the Preacher

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 10:38-42

Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. (v. 42)

Mary’s cell phone beeped. She read the text, then turned to her sister, Martha, with a worried look. “The preacher’s in the neighborhood. He’s going to pay us a visit.” Martha said, “What?! And this place is a mess. Quick, you tidy up the house. I’ll get some food cooking in the kitchen.” But Martha had been in the kitchen only a few minutes when there came a knock at the door. It was the preacher, Jesus.

Which one are you—Mary or Martha? We tend to identify with one or the other. Martha is a doer. Mary is contemplative. Martha achieves. Mary appreciates.

The truth is, nobody is all Martha or all Mary. We are all part Martha, part Mary. Your Martha part is hurried, striving. Your Mary part is thoughtful, meditative.

If your Mary part dominates entirely, the basic physical needs of your life will not be met. For most of us, though, the danger of that happening is remote. The greater danger is that your Martha part will dominate.

What we have to bear in mind, as we journey on our road to Jerusalem, and as we deal with the tension between our Martha part and our Mary part, is that Jesus pronounced the Mary part to be the better part.

Slow down. Listen. Think. Don’t just do something, stand there. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). —Lou Lotz

Prayer: Lord, help me to balance my life.