7th August 2019

People Before Housework

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
Luke 10:41-44 (NIV)

The phone rang. I switched off the vacuum and picked up the receiver. My heart sank – not her again. I was getting the house ready for dinner guests that evening, and had a lot of work to do. For months now I had listened to, and served, this new church adherent. It was never enough, and conversations with her endlessly centred round her problems and doubts, with no resolution until I had grown weary.

“I’m sorry this is not a good time to talk. I have no time just now and am very busy. We’ll talk later. Bye!” I sighed, reached for the vacuum again and distracted, whammed it into the console, sending an African soap-stone carving crashing to the floor. In horror I looked at the three broken pieces. Picking them up, I sat down and moaned the demise of a favourite ornament. In that moment the Lord brought to my mind Jonah’s anger at the shrivelling of his plant, while the inhabitants of Nineveh were lost in their sin, and the Lord’s subsequent judgment of the situation in Jonah 4:10-11: “But the Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?’”

Then house-proud Martha (Luke 10) came to my mind, fussing over dinner preparations, muttering to herself, ‘Who does Mary think she is, sitting at the Rabbi’s feet with his male disciples? Does she think she is in training to become a Rabbi? She needs to be helping me!’ My priorities, I realised, were not lining up with those of my God. He puts people before plants and perfect dinner parties, as the verses quoted show.

Later, with a repentant heart, I got out some glue and without much hope glued the pieces together. Whether due to the nature of soap-stone, or the indulgence of my Heavenly Father, or both, that carving to this day shows no cracks, or flaws and is as perfectly lovely as it ever was. More importantly, in time, my new friend too came to trust in the Lord, handing her cares and her life over to Him.

Thank you, Father, that you are never too busy to listen to us. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you patiently teach us day by day to become more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord, through whom we pray.

Study by Christina Campbell

About the Author:
Christina Campbell attends the Glasgow congregation of Grace Communion International in the UK, where she is an occasional speaker and Bible Study facilitator.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Glasgow
St Stevens Presbytery
(Garnethill Room)
260 Bath Street
G2 4JP

Meeting time:
Sunday 11:15am

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Smillie
Phone: 01505 348758
Email: glasgow@gracecom.church

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