One Thing

One Thing

Poor Martha. She really thought she had it right. All her serving. All her preparation. She worked so hard to serve Jesus, to have him in her home. But somehow her worship turned sour. Instead of treasuring Jesus’ presence with her, she actually went to him and asked him to make Mary get up and help her. Hmmm. Is this painfully familiar to us?

Oh, how we want to be truly hospitable. When we invite others over for a meal or time of fellowship, our motives start out pure…mostly. We long to share a meal and good conversation with a friend or fellow church member, welcome them into our personal space. But then the day arrives and we find ourselves consumed with the hurry and flurry of activity. Shopping for the meal, cleaning the house, and preparing the food fills the day—fills our senses. By the time our guests arrive, we can be uptight, out of patience, and not focused on our original goal of fellowship. Somehow in our process of preparation, we made it about us, not them. We wanted the house spic and span. We wanted the meal to look and taste like something from a cooking show. All in all, we wanted fellowship…on our terms?

This is sad. But even sadder is the realization that we may do this with Jesus. All our serving. All our preparation. We work so hard to serve Jesus. But somehow our worship turns sour. Instead of welcoming him into our hearts, we can grow bitter. When it takes more fortitude, more time, or more resources than we feel we have, we begin to feel that somehow the serving might not be worth it any more. Then we may pull away or stop altogether. Perhaps we’re tempted to run to Jesus, but not because we want to repent of a wrong heart attitude. We run to him because we want him to see how right we are…how hard we’re trying. And what did he say to Martha then and to us now? “Martha, Martha, {Insert your name here}, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.” We know what that one necessary thing is don’t we? It’s time with Jesus. In fact, he went on to say, “Mary {the one you’re angry with for not “helping”} has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Friends, let’s not just let Jesus into our homes, let’s allow him into our personal bubble of life. Yep, all those nooks and crannies belong to him too. One thing is necessary. That’s why He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And practically speaking, let’s challenge ourselves to make our next hospitality time be about the other person, not our effort. What if, instead of pouring our strength into all the work of getting ready, we poured out our hearts in prayer for the guests who were coming that day? Who knows what blessing that could bring to them? Not that a good meal and a sanitary environment aren’t loving things to provide, don’t get me wrong. But eternal gifts…like our prayers, our love…now that’s something to offer. I don’t know about you, but my favorite homes to visit are the ones where there’s some dust on the furniture, some fingerprints on the windows, and some dishes in the sink…but the person who greets me at the door has a huge hug and a smile for me as she says, “I’m SO glad you’re here! I’ve been waiting all day for this!” Yep. That’s a place I want to be. A place where Jesus has already been welcomed, so I am welcome too.

Kristin Bunting About Kristin Bunting

Kristin wishes you could pull up a chair, enjoy a cup of coffee, and talk with her about how amazing Jesus is. For 33 years she has walked with her Savior, and each year is a new adventure in learning how He is always "Enough" for her, no matter what the circumstance. Kristin is wife to one loving small-church pastor, and never ceases to be amazed at the 3 daughters God has given them to raise. Her one-day dream is to write a book for women, chronicling her walk with Jesus and encouraging them to never quit pursuing the God who loves them.

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