Mary and Martha… or Martha and Mary?


Day 1 – A Month with M&M

Welcome to a month with Mary and Martha.  Or is it Martha and Mary?  See, if we’re going to spend a whole month on 5 little verses, we’ll have to be pretty picky.  So before we even get one word into the story, let’s figure this out.  Every sermon I downloaded on Luke 10:38-42 is titled, “Mary and Martha”.  Why does Mary get top billing, I wonder?  It seems evident that Martha is the older sister, as the scripture states, “…a woman named Martha opened her home to him.”  Her home.  Not many women owned property back in those days.  It leaves me wondering if perhaps the parents had died and the three siblings (Martha, Mary and brother Lazarus) were left with the house.  Maybe Lazarus was too young to manage a home and Martha was more than capable of running a household.  She was definitely in charge.  Typically, the oldest is mentioned first: Cain and Abel, Peter and Andrew, James and John.  Hmmm.

When I was little, we went to the Biddick and Rundell Picnic every summer.  As the story goes, one day in the early 1800’s in Cornwall, England, Matthew and Mary Biddick took their 14 children to the beach for a Sunday picnic.  As it happened, James and Betsy Rundell and their 14 children were also at the beach that day.  Out of that meeting on the rocky shores of Cornwall, four of the Biddicks married four of the Rundells and they came to America together.  Hence, the Biddick and Rundell Picnic every June. 

After I got married and moved away from the area, I heard that attendance at the yearly gathering began to dwindle.  After several years had passed, my brother went to the picnic, only to find that it had been renamed the Rundell and Biddick Picnic.  Why?  Because the Biddicks stopped showing up. 

Showing up is important.  Mary showed up at Jesus’ feet.  Maybe that’s why her name comes first.

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