Only One Thing is Needed | Luke 10:38-42

Welcome to Real Life. There's so much to do. Who has time to sit and visit?

A Culinary Masterpiece: "Squid Sashimi In
Black Plate On Wood Table"
Opening our homes to one another is almost a lost art. Everyone is busy. Time is precious. And, in this era of Food Network, there’s added pressure to place before guests a culinary masterpiece.

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus stops in Bethany. He’s friends with three siblings who live there: Lazarus (whom he raised from the dead), Martha, and Mary. Martha invites Jesus to stay in their home. Since Jesus traveled with his disciples, Martha likely hosted a group.

I've worn Martha's apron. I've hosted out-of-town guests. It's a joy and a privilege. Yet, it also involves plain hard work. Beds need to be made, the house cleaned, groceries bought, and meals prepared.

While Jesus speaks to the group gathered in their home, Martha’s busy. I see her slicing vegetables, seasoning meat, stoking the kitchen fire, pulling out serving platters. Overwhelmed, she wonders why Mary’s not helping. She finds her sister relaxing, sitting at Jesus’ feet, and listening. Martha’s livid. She self-righteously stomps over, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answers, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Clearly, we need Marthas—those willing to work hard behind the scenes and serve. But, it's easy for someone like me and Martha to get sidetracked. I can elevate the act of serving above the presence of the guest(s) I serve. Then, I pile on ridiculous expectations to be a perfect, Martha-Stewart-like hostess.

Peggi, Peggi, few things are needed. Lower expectations and simplify: order-in pizza instead of chicken francaise, a lived-in home over spotless, and a relaxed hostess who enjoys her guests rather than one obsessed with details.

Each day, I make choices. Martha chose well. She opened her home to Jesus. She wanted to bless him, make him comfortable, and feed him well. However, Mary chose best. Jesus’ presence in Bethany was a rare gift. She cherished it. She sat with him, listened to him, and enjoyed his company.

I can cook and scrub and serve and organize and write and teach. Work is always there. I can fill my day with a hundred good things ... and miss the best. Few things are needed—indeed only one. Jesus is calling me to spend time with him. Will I choose the best?

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me and welcoming me into your presence. May I never feel guilty for sitting quietly at your feet, rather than accomplishing my to-do list.

Taking it further...
  • Scripture is God-breathed and written that we may know him[1]. Spend some time with God by reading his Word today.
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is a book and app that helps many experience Jesus' presence. 

Image courtesy of 
satit_srihin "Squid Sashimi In Black Plate On Wood Table" |
[1] 2 Timothy 3:16 and John 17:3


  1. Peggy, thanks for the reminder. I intend to read the Scriptures first thing but sometimes I forget. I agree that Jesus Calling is a good way to feel Jesus' presence, too.

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      I always feel driven to do and accomplish. It is hard for me to sit quietly and seek God. But, I never regret it when I do!


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