Sunday, February 15, 2015

A visit at Martha's House, part 15: The Choice

But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42 NASB)

We turn now to Mary, the sister whose choice was commended by Christ. The warmth I feel toward Mary is not because I disdain housework, nor that I would not want to prepare for guests or to help my sister. (Actually, I like a clean house, enjoy having guests, and have the greatest sister in the world.) What I love about this story is that Mary made one choice to do what she most wanted, and Jesus commended her for that choice. Oh, if the choices I make could always receive the commendation of Christ, what a glorious life it would be! 

Perhaps, by looking at Mary's choosing, you and I can learn something important about our own choosing. The word translated here as "chosen" is eklegomai and literally means "to choose for oneself". This choosing of Mary's was not a rejecting of anything. Her choice was not as a result of rejecting Martha nor of rejecting housework or meal preparations. When Jesus arrived at the door of Martha's home, the two sisters had many options that included housework, meal preparations, running next door to tell everyone that Jesus was there, and turning Him away to protect themselves from those officials who wanted to destroy Him. They both had the choice to sit at the feet of Jesus, honor Him with their presence, and soak in every word, as well. Both sisters made their choices, but only one found peace and contentment there. Only one was commended for her choice by Christ.

Just as you and I must do, every day of our lives, the two sisters quickly surveyed multiple options and made their choice. Mary chose to revel in the presence of Jesus and, when you and I make that same choice, we can find the same peace and contentment she found. In fact, the choice to be busy or sit at the feet of Jesus is one I have to make every day, often multiple times a day. Sometimes, though I hate to admit it, I choose the way of Martha. As you might imagine, when I choose the way of Martha, I end up with the results of Martha, too, feeling put upon and chastised. 

It is only when I choose the way of Mary, reveling in the presence and words of our Lord, that I find the joy and commendation of Christ, and you, too, can have that same joy, that same commendation. Mary did what faithful men and women have done for centuries. Like Joshua before her, she chose to serve the Lord with her presence and gained His peace. The wonderful news is that you and I can walk in their footsteps, choose their path, and have those same results.  

Framed and hanging in a prominent position on my wall, this verse is one I see every day. This choice is one I must make on a daily basis, and one you must make, as well. Let us join Joshua, Mary, and all those before us who understood the truth of these words.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15 KJV)

If I want the commendation of Christ for the choice I make, that choice can only be Him above all others. Today, I choose Him. What choice will you make?