Scripture: Luke 10:38-42
Key verses: (38-42) 38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks;
Reflection: We worry about our young people being so addicted to their devices but in reality those of us in the older generations cannot put our phones down. Notice how we talk with our phones in hand, sharing pictures or video’s to illustrate a point. Rarely is there a conversation where I have someone’s full attention. Children, youth or adults, we all are distracted. Tom Friedman, in the New York Times, said that we have the disease of “continuous partial attention.” When was the last time you were face to face with someone and had a real conversation and felt heard?
I wonder if this story of Mary, Martha and Jesus is less about gender roles or even women and about our ability to put Jesus at the center of our lives. Jesus calls out Mary, for having chosen “the better part.” Could it be that Mary was being praised for her singular focus and the ability to be fully present with Jesus? The story of Mary and Martha has less to do with their form of devotion or discipleship than the object of that devotion.
It is easy to live in a state of continuous partial attention when our devotion is to completing tasks, being efficient or even creating a perfect space for the good news to be shared. Where is your attention these days?
May we find time to stop and listen to Jesus. May we give full attention to the one who gives us all that we need.
Prayer: God, we are worried and distracted by so many things. Today, help me let go of my need to be perfect over being present. Help me focus on following your son, so that in all my interactions today, someone may experience your love. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].