The Good Portion

Image result for thanksgiving turkey

“But the Lord answered her, ‘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

Not to be the guy that skips right over Halloween, but I am going to right now because Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  One Thanksgiving years ago while I was away at college I got a deeply troubling text from my mom.

“Your grandma forgot to turn the oven on…there is no turkey.”

I have never been more thankful to have been away from home on the holiday.  Thanksgiving with no turkey! Talk about an absolute nightmare, albeit, not a frightening one, but still.  I called my mom later that day and heard the horror story of eating nothing but sides for dinner.

I realize that some of us might be okay with having just sides for dinner, but they are called “sides” for a reason!  They are meant to come alongside the grand attraction, which is the Thanksgiving turkey.  If we flipped the switch and I showed up on Thanksgiving, and you told me we only have turkey, well I would be 100% okay with that.  As we look at the story of Martha and Mary we see that Martha is a “sides” girl, and Mary is a turkey gal.

Jesus enters a village with his disciples and Martha welcomes them into their home.  If you have hosted a meal before you can imagine the stress of preparing for a large group of people: cooking the food, setting the table, getting the drinks, moving in tight-spaces with too many people.  Martha is doing her best to serve, but anxiety and stress are high.

Mary, on the other hand, decides to plop right down and sit at the feet of Jesus listening to his teachings.  Martha, overwhelmed by serving, gets worked up that her sister is not helping.  She thinks she understands Jesus’ teaching that we are to serve others, and so she passively aggressively asks Jesus to remind Mary that she should be serving.

Her plan backfires and Jesus responds:

“But the Lord answered her, ‘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

Jesus cuts right through Martha’s heart and says you are anxious and troubled about things that in the end don’t really matter.  Although on the surface you might appear to be serving, you are distracted from what matters most…me.

But one thing is necessary.  Jesus.

Mary understood this and she made a decision that she was going to choose the good portion, being with Jesus, over serving.  She chose this not because she was lazy, or she didn’t want to serve, but because she wanted the good portion that would never fade away.

Most days in life it is easy to get distracted by preparing side dishes when in reality all we need is the turkey.  I hope and pray that each day we can choose the good portion, spending time with Jesus, over razzling ourselves up about things that easily fade.

Think about this for a moment.  What is your favorite portion on the turkey?  Is it a drumstick, or the dark meat, or something else.  Or even beyond that is it a middle brownie (again its crust, who wants crust?!), a middle cinnamon roll, a crispy french fry.  It is easy to choose those things, chase those things, fight people over those things because we delight in them.  I pray that my heart might be changed and that I might so delight in Jesus, that spending time with him might become like fighting over the middle cinnamon roll.

 

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