So, this past Sunday we heard from Luke’s gospel about a time when Jesus visited Martha and her sister Mary. Short story even shorter, Martha is busy trying to do all the tasks that are expected of her as a hostess, while Mary hangs out with Jesus. Martha’s mindset makes sense. Remember that in this time and place how you treat guests is extremely important; the guest-host relationship is sacred. But when Martha complains to Jesus about the uneven division of labor, Jesus basically tells her she shouldn’t be so worried, and that Mary has actually done something quite right.
We’re in our season of Lent right now, where we’re focusing on slowing down and reconnecting with an unhurried God. When I heard this story this time, I thought about Mary a little bit differently. Not as a lady who was typically prone to contemplation over action, but as a person who deliberately took the time to slow down in order to be fully present with Jesus. That isn’t to say that our daily tasks aren’t important, or that Mary didn’t understand the importance of daily tasks. On the contrary, small things are sacred things. I think a large part of the life of faith consists of little acts done with great love, day by day. Checking in. Helping a friend. Offering a needed prayer. But there is a time for everything under the heavens, as the Scriptures say. A time to work, and a time to rest. A time to run errands, and a time to be still. A time to bake cookies, and a time to sit at Jesus' feet. In this story, God had come to visit. And maybe Mary rightly sensed that this was a good and fruitful time to sit contentedly at God’s feet. Maybe, then, we should learn to pause and ask ourselves: what does this season require of me? This day? This very moment? Is this a time when the better thing is to sit at Jesus’ feet?