May 11

Written by Bill Grandi on May 11th, 2023

Mother’s Day is this Sunday (just in case you were born yesterday or under a rock). As part of that celebration, I made last year different. I decided to do the same this year. Rather than me stand before the people and say something about how godly women should be or do (as if I’m an expert), I thought I’d let women do that. There will be three ladies in the first service and four in the second talking about a woman in the Bible whom they admire. Common vernacular: their heroine. Lydia. Tamar (Judah’s Tamar). Hannah. Mary the mother of Jesus. Sarah. Mary of Bethany. Deborah.

Each one is unique. Last year Esther was the most common name used by the ladies. This year there are no repeats. My plan for next week’s devotions here at “Shadow” is to take a look at each one of the ladies mentioned.

I’m starting it today, though, with Mary of Bethany. I chose her to start with because we can all relate. Mary, and her sister, Martha, hosted Jesus and His disciples in their home.  (Lazarus, the one Jesus raised from the dead was their brother). While Martha busied herself with preparations, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening and learning. When Martha complained to Jesus about what I will call a lack of “hoster’s responsibilities” i.e. not helping, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are distracted by many things, but Mary has chosen the better  thing.” (My paraphrase). You can read the real exchange in Luke 10:38-42.

Translation: Martha was so busy with “stuff” that she lost sight of what was truly important.

How often does that happen in your life? Busyness takes over and you lose sight of what is “the better thing.” Your time with God is almost non-existent. Your time with family and friends is a strain. You have neighbors you haven’t seen in months, maybe years. You have lost touch with those who were once your “go to” people.

We are Martha’s. We need to be Mary’s. We need to stop and be present. Hard to do? Probably. But worth it? You bet. Your kids will thank you. Your family with thank you. Your friends will thank you. Your body will thank you. Your heart, soul and spirit will thank you.

Are you ready to be a Mary?


16 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Guilty as charged…

  2. As I get older, the more I treasure my Mary time, Bill. It’s so important, perhaps the most important thing we can do is immerse ourselves in spending time with God.
    I love this reflection today, and I’m glad you’re letting the ladies in your church have their day to shine!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha. I treasure that time with God even more as well. I’m looking forward to Sunday.

  3. Pam Williams says:

    I LOVE this idea for Mothers Day! Pure genius, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Pam but I’m not sure it’s pure genius. Maybe pure fear? 🙂

  4. gail says:

    Just like Martha, I too have tried to justify my actions, I have come up with reasons why my priorities were set the way they were. Whenever I do put other things first before God, whatever I thought was a top priority soon takes a turn in a direction I did not want. Only God can center our lives, and when we do things in His order, you can see the difference in everything. Father please help me to be more like Mary and less like Martha. Help me to keep my focus and attention on You, keep teaching me to ask You first, and to be obedient to Your voice. Teach me to not ask You to bless my priorities, if they are not in alignment with Yours.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Your honesty about your priorities is convicting Gail. I think we all have that issue from time to time, maybe more than we would like to admit. I, too, want to be more like Mary than Martha.

  5. Cheryl says:

    I so admire Mary and her hunger to hang on Jesus’ every word. I imagine she thought back on that day (and possibly many other instances) in the years to come as she missed Him and longed for His presence. God bless you, Pastor.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m thinking that your are correct Cheryl. What we see here is a life of no regrets or “what if.”

  6. Lux G. says:

    Reminds me of that song with the lines “I’m Mary and my Martha all at the same time.” I hope I could be more like Mary often.

  7. Kari Scare says:

    Finding my balance of Martha and Mary has been a lifelong struggle of mine, one I am still working on. I am in the middle of a book called, The Women of the Bible Speak, and I am unexpectedly surprised by the perspective presented. We have terrific biblical examples of women that both men and women can find inspiration and encouragement from.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Finding that balance is a lifelong struggle for me as well Kari. I, way too often truthfully, find myself divided in my attention and affection for Jesus.

  8. Linda Stoll says:

    mmm … can we do the Martha tasks with the Mary heart …