A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Matt talked about Martha and Mary. This story always hits way too close to home for me. I have the tendency to stick up for Martha and be annoyed by Mary. When I feel this way, I know that my heart isn’t right. Jesus lets Martha know that “Mary has made the right choice”. (v. 42)
Ultimately, it’s not about the where, when, why, and what you’re serving...it’s about WHO you are serving! Serving is good, Jesus modeled this perfectly for us. But, why are you serving? Do you want others to see you serve well? Are you trying to do more or be better than someone else? Are you hiding in the kitchen because you don’t want to be seen? There are many reasons why we serve, but I want to focus on the “who” aspect of serving.
WHO are you serving? I mean this is in 2 ways:
Physically and in the moment - who are you serving? This matters. We are called to serve in love, not out of drudgery or to impress. I easily get caught up in tasks and busyness. I am easily annoyed and irritable when I forget who I am serving. Serving can so quickly and easily become selfish, which isn’t service at all! When I remember who I am serving I am filled with gratitude because I have people to serve! Most of the time it is my husband and children who I serve. When I allow it to feel like a chore and a bother I grow contentious and easily annoyed. When I remember who I am and what I am called to, I find peace and joy in the everyday, mundane tasks of being a wife and mother.
I serve the One who laid it all down for me. The perfect servant, the perfect love, Jesus. This is why I serve who I serve. He is why I can find joy in serving them. Because when I serve out of a humble and grateful heart, I am actually serving Him!
“‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
- Matthew 25:35-40
So yes, Martha was fulfilling her call to hospitality...from the outside it looks this way. But Jesus goes right to the heart of it all. When Martha asks, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” (Luke 10:40b) Jesus sees right through and into her heart. He sees a woman who has grown “distracted by her many tasks” (v. 40a) and is “worried and upset” (v. 41) She has allowed these things to grow and fester, and instead of longing for what her sister has chosen, she is upset with her. This is so convicting for me. Like, am I actually happy for those who have “made the right choice” (v. 42) or do I envy them as I muddle around in my tasks and busyness? It is time that I take the plank from my eye and stop focusing on the little splinter in other’s eyes. (Matthew 7:3-5) It is not about doing it better than others. It is not about whose home is cleaner. It is about Him.
Jesus sees my heart. He sees who I serve and why I serve. Lord, forgive me for allowing service to be an idol - a way to keep me distracted. Help me to see who I am serving and overwhelm me with gratitude for being able to serve who I serve. Thank you for being the perfect example of service. Help me to make the “right choice” (Luke 10:42 CSB), to crave the “good portion” (v. 42 ESV), to “choose what is better” (v. 42 NIV), and to want the one thing that is “essential” (v. 42 MSG).
You, Jesus. You are what I choose today.