Yesterday in church our priest shared a different view of Martha and Mary. One that I had never seen or read about before. I have always been called Martha, to my frustration I have tried to become what I thought Mary was. Then yesterday Father's homily put a different spin on the whole thing for me.
We typically think of Martha being frustrated at her sister, Mary, for not helping in the kitchen to prepare the food for such an important guest. Women were expected to do the cooking and tending to (it's still our place but that's a whole other area I won't get into here). Mary was, instead sitting at the feet of Jesus...listening. Absorbing all He had to say. If we recall earlier on, Martha is the one who ran to Jesus when Lazurus died and said "Master he would not have died if you would have been there!" She knew who Jesus was. She already had a deep understanding of his capabilites. Mary on the other hand was sitting at Jesus feet to learn, to understand, and to go through "class" if you will, to be able to better live the life that Jesus was teaching, and of which applies even today. While Martha was frustrated at her sister, Jesus said "she has chosen the better half." Martha was more concerened with the food preperations because she already knew how awesome Jesus was. Mary on the other hand couldn't see the food prep as priority, she was in awe at Jesus' words and was learning.
I believe there is a time for hospitality and to fret over food prep, but I also believe there is a time to let it go and be obedient to learning more about Jesus. If that means the house isn't perfect and the food isn't just so, so be it. The hospitality I provide and the friendship/Christian environment is 10x more important. Balance. Something I struggle with, but am being taught by the Lord how important it is.