Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NRSV

Thought

The story of Mary and Martha is a biblical paradigm for modern-day stress. Martha welcomed Jesus into their home and busied herself with the work of hospitality. Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said. Martha stressed because her sister left her to do all the work by herself. She was distracted by her many tasks, just as we are today. Martha was, in fact, a stress carrier. She complained in the name of sibling justice because she wanted Mary to share the load. Mary chose the better part.

Prayer

God, I stress over the duties and responsibilities of life, especially now that I am without my loved one. May I be like Mary and choose the better part—to be in your presence. Amen.

Assurance

Today I choose the better part, which cannot be taken away from me.

Originally published in Beyond the Broken Heart - Daily Devotions for Your Grief Journey,
Abingdon Press 2012