Are you Mary or Martha?

Dear Parents,

Are you Mary or Martha?  As you may remember, Mary and Martha are two sisters in the Gospel of Luke who open their home in Bethany to Jesus and many disciples.  Martha quickly went to work creating an elaborate meal while Mary, much to the chagrin of her sister, did not help with any of the preparations. Instead she sat at the Lord’s feet listening intently to what he said.  When Martha complained, the Lord answered, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42) Are you able to hear God’s call in your busy life? Do you stop and listen to a friend and show kindness towards others, including strangers?

It is easy to become distracted and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of parenting and the daily activities of a family. Running from soccer, ballet, piano and other activities can be exhausting and leave little time for nurturing a spiritual life. After a long day in the office or in the home, we still have laundry to do, lunches to make, and emails to read.  Frequently we do not have the energy left to engage in an intimate conversation with God or in reading the Bible.

When I take the time to nurture my spiritual journey and to spend time in God’s word, my heart fills with grace and peace, enabling me to be kinder and gentler with family and friends. Social competency largely depends on kindness.  Intimacy with God calms the heart and quiets the soul allowing believers to share positive relationships with others.

Sitting quietly in my office last week, I had the privilege of observing you pause to honor the staff during Teacher Appreciation Week.  You  showered the teachers with cards, flowers, food, and love. Most important is that your children watched your many acts of kindness and listened to your words of appreciation. I also observed the teachers working tirelessly to honor the children’s mothers with a class party in recognition of Mother’s Day.  The children were so excited by their mom’s visit and delighted to be with their parents and friends simultaneously.  It was a joyful week of celebration and kindness at Wesley.  We all paused our busyness to share fellowship and love.

I pray that this summer is a time for you to reflect on the story of Mary and Martha and for you to share its message with your children. Find as much time as you can to play with your babies. While you are playing with your children, have fun, enjoy the moments, and when those opportunities arise, share with them the good news of God and His beautiful world.