Going home for the Christmas holidays can be a perfect time to reflect. To look back upon the last term, to remember what you heard God was saying into your life and work out whether you have responded to him. To reflect on how you’ve spent your weeks; work out what you’ve enjoyed and what you want to change. So, to help you reflect on your autumn term, I want you to consider this story of Martha and Mary from Luke 10:38-42.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Marthaopened her home to him.She had a sister called Mary,who sat at the Lord’s feetlistening to what he said.But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you carethat my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,”the Lord answered,“you are worriedand upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I don’t know about you, but my natural default is being a Martha. I enjoy being busy, I enjoy serving God, but like Martha, I can often become distracted and worried rather than trusting in God. Martha loved Jesus; she welcomed him into her home and then busied herself making a meal for Jesus and his disciples. Why? Martha wanted to give Jesus the best that she could and that’s amazing. But she was doing it in her own strength; she got distracted by what she felt that she “needed” to achieve, rather than what Jesus wanted her to do, which was for her to spend time with him, to sit at his feet with Mary and listen to him.
How often do we try and become more servant-hearted to please God, to an extent where it becomes the focus of our lives? That we forget about the God we are serving because we become too distracted by our acts of service to him. Like Martha, we shouldn’t take our eyes of Jesus. Think about what Martha was doing, she was preparing a meal for Jesus, who has the power to feed thousands from just a pack-up. Jesus could have easily prepared the meal himself (and his disciples). But Martha, like I do, like I’m sure we all do, got distracted from the fact that the man she was serving is God and felt she had to do it in her own strength. Martha’s intentions were good, we should be serving God today, she invited Jesus into the situation, but then failed to listen to what Jesus was saying and instead listened to the expectations of her culture. Like-wise, we often invite Jesus into a situation only then to run around him trying to do what we perceive is correct in order to honour him.
Instead, we should be like Mary, we should invite Jesus into our lives and then sit at his feet and listen, to let him change our lives. As Christians our aim is to become more Christ-like, than surely the best way to do so is to sit and his feet and worship him? To love and adore him in order to be able to start acting more and more like him in our everyday life. Instead of trying to prove to Jesus we are worthy of him, let’s fall at his feet and remember we are dependent on his grace.
Jess Vaughan is a Student Forgee. She graduated from the University of York last summer