Names are really interesting; I wonder why you were given your particular name?  I was given the name Linda,  I quite like it now but there were times, especially in my youth, that I wanted to change it for something a bit more  trendy like Samantha, I guess that probably gives away my age a bit!   I think my parents gave me my name because they liked it, I never thought to ask and it’s too late now.  But my hubby and I gave our children their names because we liked them and for most of us, we choose a name because we like the sound or the association it has, or perhaps to honour one of our family or friends.

In some cultures, particularly in biblical times names had great significance and said something about the child or person who was given the name. For example when the ageing Sarah gave birth to a son he was given the name Isaac, which means ‘laughter’, because Sarah laughed when God said she would conceive.  At other times God changed a person’s name to correspond with a dramatic life change as when Saul, chief persecutor of Christians, became Paul disciple of Jesus.

At our homegroup recently we were asked to share a gospel story that we identified with in some way.  I chose to share the passage about Jesus’ visit to Martha and Mary (Luke 10: 38-42).  My honest response to this story was that I was firmly on Martha’s side!  Often when we have guests I feel like I’m the one rushing around organising food, tidying up, washing dishes etc while everyone else sits and chats with our guests (to be fair the family do help, but I always feel very responsible for the preparations).   I do this in my life generally even when we don’t have guests, I buzz around making myself busier and busier until I am dizzy with activity and then I complain that I’m so busy I can’t find time and space to spend with God because of all the other things I have to do.

christ teaching martha and mary anton dorph

However, over the past few weeks this passage has kept rolling around in my head, and if I’m being really truthful, I felt a little disappointed that Jesus seemed to rebuke Martha and favour Mary.   I would love to sit at Jesus feet but who would do all the ‘stuff’ that needs to be done?   Finally it bugged me enough to go and have another look!   Isn’t it strange that you can read a passage over and over and over again and suddenly one day something just jumps off the page at you!   I had one of those moments that Archimedes may have described as a ‘eureka’ moment ….. but I think for me it was more of a Holy Spirit moment!

 ‘But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came and said to Jesus,   “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.   Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”’      Luke 10: 40-42

It struck me that our lifestyles today are incredibly busy and we are often busy doing things that are good ….. helping others, supporting good causes, serving in the church, looking after our families, following favourite leisure pursuits….   but it reminded me that Jesus said that what Mary had chosen to do was the better thing, she had chosen to  sit at her Lord’s feet and listen.   It’s good to remember that we can be so much more productive when we take  time to listen to Jesus’ plans for our lives instead of frantically trying to make up our own.

I love the painting above;  I want to be like Mary, sitting at the feet of  Jesus, gazing intently into His face, listening to what He has to say, so……. I’m changing my name I want to be a Mary not a Martha…… I want to choose the better thing.

Would you describe yourself as Martha or Mary?



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Crown of Beauty
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 22:11:54

    Hi, “Mary” 🙂
    I came across your blog, and its title caught my eye. Decided to read some of your posts, and right away I sensed that some of the things you write bear witness with something deep in my heart. So, I have decided to add you to my blog roll, just so I don’t lose track of you. You might want to know that the church family I belong to is a “Compassion” church. Glad to have “met” you… and will surely look forward to visiting here again. Shalom!


    • A different way of seeing....
      Apr 16, 2013 @ 23:29:22

      Hi Lidia,
      Thank you so much for your kind words, I love it when people take the time to comment, it means such a lot to know that others enjoy what you have to say. I have had a quick look round your blog too and loved it, I think maybe we have similar thoughts. You have a beautiful heart and it really shines through in your blog. I too have added you to my blogroll as I intend to visit again. God bless you.


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