Monday, 29 November 2021
Title: Martha or Mary?
By Dorothy Teoh
Luke 10: 38-42
Martha and Mary as well as their brother Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead were friends of Jesus. Luke 10: 38 tells us that when Jesus and His disciples came to their village, Martha opened her home to Him.
Martha was the busy hostess, preparing food – perhaps an elaborate meal – for not just Jesus but also His disciples. There was much to be done. Imagine Martha’s annoyance and frustration when she noticed that her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him teach, instead of helping her in the kitchen!
She goes to Jesus and asked, almost reproachfully, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Jesus, instead of taking offence at the way she spoke to Him, answered soothingly. He does not criticise Martha who only wanted to give her best as a hostess, but tells her that she is worried and upset about many things. However, only one thing is needed, He says. Mary has chosen better, and it would not be taken away from her. Although that “one thing” is not defined, it seems clear that it has to do with sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him.
Lately, I found myself busy with preparations for both a work-related event and a short trip outstation. There were presentations to go through, a speech and emcee script to be written, and laundry, vacuuming and packing to be done.
When I got back from my trip and the time came to write this devotion, I struggled. Over dinner, an hour or so before I sat down to write, I still had no idea of a topic. I decided to eat in reflective silence instead of in front of the TV. And as I reflected, it came to me why I was feeling a bit distant and uninspired. All the preparations related to work and my trip had distracted me from spending time with God and reading the Bible. I had missed that “one thing” that Mary discovered. How could there be “output” when the “input” is missing? How could I hope to hear God’s voice if I am not spending time with Him?
Recently, I read a testimony by Leland Wang, an associate of Watchman Nee in China who founded the Chinese Foreign Missionary Union that undertook evangelism and mission among the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. Wang himself was a missionary to Indonesia. After becoming a Christian, he desired to become well-versed in the Scriptures. But he had a problem. “I realised my trouble was that I liked to sleep late and then rush into my daily activities. When evening came, I was too tired to read and continually postponed my study until the next day,” he shared.
And so, he decided to wake up at 6a.m. daily to read the Bible, starting when he was 21. Although he faltered after some time, he persevered. Later on, “No Bible, No Breakfast” became his motto. If he did not read at least one chapter to start the day, he did not eat his breakfast. Wang shared that not only did reading God’s Word strengthen His faith, early in his Christian service, he found answers in the Bible to the problems that arose.
There are times when we cannot avoid busy-ness in our lives or ministry. We may become distracted by all that needs to be done and, like Martha, may even think that this is the best way that we can serve God. Luke 10: 38-42 does not say that it is wrong to be busy. It speaks about making the better choice. Luke’s point seems to be that waiting quietly upon the Lord matters more than bustling around busily. When all is said and done, few things in life are needed, or only one. And, like Mary, if we choose that which is better – sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to Him speak through His Word – it will not be taken away from us.
Dear Lord Jesus, help us to make the better choice, which is to sit at Your feet and listen to You. Grant us the discipline and perseverance to spend time with You daily and to read Your Word so that our faith may be strengthened and we may know You better and love You more. In Your name we pray, Amen.
[3:00 pm, 28/11/2021] .: PBC DAILY DEVOTION ✝️
马大和马利亚以及他们的兄弟，耶稣使他从死里复活的拉撒路，都是耶稣的朋友。路加福音 第10章38节 告诉我们，当耶稣和祂的门徒来到他们的村庄时，马大向祂敞开了她的家。
马大是忙碌的女主人，她不仅为耶稣，而且为祂的门徒准备食物 – 也许是精心准备的一餐；有很多工作要做。想象一下，当马大注意到她的妹妹马利亚坐在耶稣脚边听祂教导，而不是在厨房帮助她时，她是多么的恼火和沮丧！
耶稣，没有对她对祂说话的方式生气，而是安慰她。祂不批评马大，她只想做个尽上最好的女主人；但告诉她，她对很多事情感到担心和不安。然而，祂说，不可少的只有一件事。马利亚选择了更好的，而且是不会被夺走的。虽然这 “一件事” 并未加以定义，但似乎很明显，它与坐在耶稣脚前聆听祂说话有关。
当我从旅途回来，到了写这份灵修篇章的时候，我很挣扎。晚餐时，在我坐下来写作前一个小时左右，我仍然想不到一个主题。我决定在沉思的静默中吃饭，而不是在电视前。当我反思时，我想到了为什么我感觉有点生疏和缺乏灵感。所有与工作和旅行相关的准备工作都让我无法与上帝共度时光和阅读圣经。我错过了马利亚发现的 “一件事”。没有 “输入” 怎么会有 “输出”？如果我不花时间与祂在一起，我怎么能希望听到上帝的声音？
最近，我读到了王载（Leland Wang）的见证。他是倪柝声在中国的同工，他创立了 “中华国外布道团”，向在东南亚散居的中国侨民传福音。王载自己是到印度尼西亚的传教士。成为基督徒后，他渴望精通圣经；但是他有一个问题。 “我意识到我的问题在于我喜欢睡得很迟才起床，然后匆匆忙忙地进行日常活动。到了晚上，我太累了，无法阅读，就不断将学习推迟到第二天。” 他分享道。
有时我们无法避免生活或事奉中的忙碌。我们可能会被所有需要完成的事情分心，甚至可能会像马大一样以为这是我们事奉上帝的最佳方式。路加福音 第10章38-42节 并没有说忙碌是错的；它谈到作出更好的选择。路加的观点似乎是，安静等候主比忙忙碌碌更重要。归根结底，生活中需要的东西很少，或者只需要一件。再者，像马利亚一样，如果我们选择更好的 – 坐在耶稣脚前，听祂通过祂的话语说话 – 它不会被夺走的。