Martha and Mary
Read out loud Luke 10:38-41 and then pause. Then read the following slowly aloud:
Martha and Mary highlight two aspects of our relationship with Jesus: times to sit quietly with Him; times to be active, serving Him by loving and serving others.
Imagine the scene. Go into the house. Enter the room where Jesus and Mary are sitting. Join them quietly. Listen. Enjoy being there.
What is the quality of your listening? Has listening together to God in this group helped you? What difference has it made in your own life/ministry of caring?
Relaxation and listening prayers
Return to the room in Bethany. Rest and relax. Listen again. Now see Martha rushing in - loving, eager, and practical in her desire to serve Jesus. How do you cope with such interruptions? Could they possibly become means of service and intercession? How?
Jesus was probably tired and wanted some peace and quiet rather than fuss and hassle and special food. Mary was sensitive to this need and tried to meet it. Martha made her own assessment of His needs and priorities.
What has this to teach us in all our contacts with others in need? What is our motive in caring? And its result? Be specific. Ask Jesus to direct us.
We need to be both Martha and Mary and find it difficult to get the balance right. Ask for discernment to know when it is Martha-time and Mary-time. Reflect on your last week's schedule. Ask Jesus for His assessment of it.
Consider the clash of temperaments seen in Martha and Mary. Jot down on paper any current problems, situations or relationships you are finding difficult. Share what you have written with Jesus. Ask for greater insight and wisdom. Be willing to forgive and seek forgiveness.
Is there any action you should take now? Or later? Specifically hand it over to God. If you wish, visualise this by tearing up paper and putting it into the waste-paper basket. (If anyone has a pressing problem and wishes to share it, take time here to listen and pray with this person individually).
Then move into intercession, bringing others, social and world issues etc. to Jesus in that home in Bethany.