Everyone loves a good dose of sibling rivalry.
Mary and Martha are among the most famous sibling rivals in the Bible, and Christians for generations have wondered what to do with them.
Many of us identify more strongly with one or the other of them, and then feel slightly guilty about it.
Team Martha feels like she gets a raw deal, being gently corrected by Jesus when she complains about Mary not helping her. “Where’s the love for Martha?” we ask. “Marthas make the world go around, especially at church!”
Others of us know we’re Mary. We love being spiritual and contemplative, thinking deep thoughts and feeling very religious, but sometimes we’re hard to be found when it’s time to get down to real work. Oops.
As often as I’ve wrestled with this text and its clear call away from busywork and into the peace of God’s presence, I heard it differently this time as I thought about it in the context of the whole Bible.
And what I realized is the Bible is all about sibling relationships, and most of those relationships are troubled at best.Continue reading