“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Martha and Mary are examples of two different kinds of people in the church: those who are humble listeners who desire earnestly to spend time with God and those who complain about the first group. This latter group seems to be quite distracted by their duties and obligations, by administrative activities as if doing church stuff were a way of fellowshipping with God. Sometimes it is as displaying hospitality, a gift which Abraham and Sarah extended to the Lord God at Mamre. There, the couple used hospitality to honor their guest as well as engage with Him in fellowship. Perhaps Martha paid little attention to Jesus and missed out on the blessing of His words. And then she complained.

I think we all feel like Martha at times, maybe complaining about others but just as often distracted by duties and obligations, the things for which we think we are responsible, the things we ought to do. Such attention to duty is good except when it consumes us to the point where it interferes with our relationship with Jesus or when we fail to show love and mercy to others. We miss out on a great blessing by not spending time with Jesus in prayer and the Word.

Hospitality is a great gift which helps to advance the Kingdom of God. What is not helpful is for the hospitable person to complain about or be envious of those who do not share that gift or who have other gifts or who like to spend time with Jesus. We all have our spiritual gifts, our roles, and talents that are unique to us. We all need each other. We need those gifted in hospitality for they bless us all as it enables us to enjoy the fellowship of the Lord and His saints. And we should all display hospitality in our church fellowship as we welcome those who are new to our fellowship or who are visiting. Let them experience the love and presence of Jesus in the flesh through us His humble servants.