Still Serving

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: John 12:1-7

So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. (v. 2)

When I was young, my parents sometimes invited friends for coffee and dessert on Sunday evenings. They usually ate from lap trays in the living room, so I folded napkins to fit on the serving trays and neatly arranged a cup, saucer, fork, and spoon on each one. Then I’d cut and plate the dessert Mom had prepared. After she poured coffee for each, I carefully carried one tray at a time to the guests. I loved the smiles and thanks I received. Those experiences planted a seed for service in me. In that way, I identify with Martha, a hostess who feels comfortable in the kitchen, tending to food preparation and listening to conversations from the background.

The dinner account in today’s passage occurred sometime after Jesus’ conversation with Martha about choosing “the good portion.” Yet we read that again “Martha served.” Apparently, Jesus had not asked her to stop preparing food, and she’s not complaining this time. She had confessed her belief in him as the Messiah before he miraculously brought her brother Lazarus back to life (John 11:17-44). Now her servant heart is in the right place.

If, like Martha, this kind of service is your gift, do it lovingly and faithfully. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us . . . if it is serving, then serve . . .” (Rom. 12:6-7 NIV) —Denise Vredevoogd

As you pray, ask Jesus to help you serve in the ways you are gifted.