Father in Heaven,
This season, may we your people of Mound Evangelical Free Church remember that the Lord's work can only be sustained by the Lord's word. The account of Mary and Martha has got to be one of the most beautiful and understated jewels in the entire New Testament. This five verse snapshot is pulsing with life. Applications abound. Today, we'l flag two of them for the purposes of prayer.
First, Lord, we appreciate Martha's predicament (vv.38b, 40). Service is essential. Hospitality is one of the great hallmarks of disciples of Jesus. Martha knew this well and got to work. It doesn't seem the problem was serving per se, rather it was the distraction the serving became (v.40). She was pulled away from Christ by serving him: 'Not, now Lord, I've got the Lord's work to do...' (or something like that anyway). We laugh, Jesus, because we've been there. The details of this life are complicated. Marriage, kids, bills, career, local church, friendships, calendar items, things we plan to do this season, plans for next season, then there's all the stuff we forgot from last season...Lord Jesus, if there's one way this account serves us well it's as full length body mirror. God have mercy...we certainly do appreciate Martha's predicament.
Secondly, we want to emulate Mary's example (vv.38a, 39, 41-42). Rather than distracted from you by service to you - Mary takes a seat before you (v.39). She sat at your feet, Rabbi. She listened to your teaching. It's the posture of a disciple (Luke 8:35; Acts 22:3). Not only that, it's the posture of someone who's hungry, Lord. Someone once said that in Luke's Gospel, you are either going to, at, or coming from a meal. But here in Luke 10:42, we have something even more special going on. You're not just at a meal - you are the meal. We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Mary knew this - and she reveled in it. She had food to eat that Martha knew nothing about. Mary chose the good portion - and it would never be taken away from her. Lord God, Martha presumably prepared bread for the meal...but Mary feasted on the bread of life himself. She got the good portion. The right meal. So Lord Jesus, before we rise to serve you this day - may we sit and be served by you. Be our portion, O Christ. In fact, may we treasure the words of your mouth more than our portion of food (Job 23:12). Satisfying Savior...you are the bread of life, whoever comes to you shall not hunger, and whoever believes in your shall not thirst. When we feast on you, we have something that can never be taken from us (v.42). Though heaven and earth will pass away, your word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). Help us to labor this day for that which we will never lose.
In Jesus' Name,
"I'm out on the front porch...I've been whittling while I loaf...Whittling is a lost art in this efficient age...it shows up in things spiritual. Samuel Rutherford, Robert Murray McCheyene, John Bunyan, would be brushed aside today by church workers headed for another committee meeting. Whether or not they whittled, I cannot say, but they took time out and lost no time in so doing...And then there are others today who are too busy doing things of importance. Satan is clever. If he cannot put God's servant to sleep, he works him into a St. Vitus dance and then brings him down in a crash to the dishonor of the cause. These, too, should learn to whittle now and then."
-Vance Havner, Rest Awhile. Fleming H. Revel Publishers. 1941.