Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thinking About Martha And Mary

After running across the link to '31 Days To Clean - Having A Martha House The Mary Way' and posting about it this morning I got to thinking about Martha and Mary.

Luke 10:38-42 tells us the story of these two sisters of Lazarus (the same Lazarus of whom Jesus would eventually raise from the dead - see John 11:1-44). The passage tells us that, as Jesus was passing through a certain village, Martha welcomed Him into her home. While Martha was busy cooking and serving dinner, we find that Mary had slipped out of her sister's kitchen and was sitting at the Master's feet...listening intently to every word He said. After a time Martha interrupted Jesus...complaining...wanting to know if He didn't care that Mary had left her to do all the work  alone. Jesus answered Martha this way:

"...Martha, Martha, thou art careful [worried] and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 38:41-42)

As I thought about these two women...these two friends of Jesus...I couldn't help but wonder...

Am I more like Martha? What type of person was she? Or am I more like Mary? What type of person was she? What heart-qualities made the two sisters so different from one another? If Jesus came to my house would He have to gently rebuke me as He did Martha? Or would He commend me as He did Mary? Which of these two sister's qualities would I rather possess? What qualities do I need to cultivate in my life in order to achieve that goal? 

I pose these same questions to you.  

While you think about that, and while it's not the one I wanted to share with you (when I find that one I will post it), here is a 'Martha and Mary' poem for you to enjoy...

Martha Hands—Mary Heart

I must have the hands of Martha,
Hands that scrub and cook and sew—
I can have the heart of Mary
While I do these things, you know.

Though my hands are in the dishpan,
This soul of mine can soar
And in thoughts sublime and lofty
Go right up to heaven’s door.

I must cook, oh endless dinners,
For my dear ones have to eat;
But my soul need not be cooking—
It can sit at Jesus’ feet!

Help me, God while doing duties
Against which my soul rebels,
But meekly still to peel potatoes,
But not grovel in the shells.

Grant me, God, mid things prosaic
Ere to choose the better part;
Grant that while I must be Martha
I may have the Mary heart.

---Author Unknown


  1. I must read this wonderful poem to the children tomorrow. I was speaking with them this morning at our worship about meditating on those things which are noble, good, just, lovely etc (We'd read in Phillipians), and trying to guide them as to how to train their minds to *really* meditate on God, and on the work and person on Christ Jesus. We spoke about it at some length, but I ended by saying that if their minds became used to meditating on good things, that their thoughts would go heavenward whether they were washing the dishes, driving along the road, out feeding the sheep..... or wherever. This post suits our conversation perfectly. Thank you! x

  2. I love it when, in the course of homeschooling, the Lord brings corresponding material to us from several different directions at once! It's proof to us that we're right where He wants us to be!


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