Main Course

A Month with Mary and Martha – Day 14

“Mary has chosen the good portion…”  Luke 10:42, Amplified Version

When I was eight years old, I signed up for 4-H.  One of my projects was “Foods”, an opportunity for young girls and boys to learn the basics of planning, cooking and presenting healthy meals.  One requirement was attending the “Food Revue” – a school gymnasium filled with young people who set up their best presentation of an appealing, nutritious meal.  A judge would go around and look over each entry, ask every entrant a few questions, and pass out ribbons at the end of the day.  Some kids brought in linen tablecloths, candlesticks and centerpieces to display their elaborate banquet.  I brought a peanut-butter-and-apple sandwich.

I used to be (emphasis on used to be) a picky eater.  Every single day from 1st grade to 3rd grade, I took a peanut-butter-and-apple sandwich to school in my lunch box.  So when I had to whip up my best meal for Food Revue, there was no question about what I would make.  It was the very best I had to offer.  I don’t remember winning any blue ribbons that day.  I do remember that the judge was very kind to me…and that she couldn’t stop smiling.

I’ve learned to cook a wide variety of meals in the 43 years since my first Food Revue.  I love cooking for my family, but when company comes, something in me wants to kick it up a notch.  I offer my guests the chicken breast that hasn’t stuck to the bottom of the pan, the spoonful of mashed potatoes that has the melting butter pat, and the top part of the sweet potato casserole with all the brown sugar and pecans.  I make sure our visitors get the inside piece of cake, not the edge piece. 

Perhaps Martha was working on a culinary masterpiece for the Master; only the best portions for her guest of honor.  When she approached Jesus with her complaint, He was kind enough to use kitchen jargon so she could understand.   “Martha, I’m the main course.  Come on in here and let Me feed you for a change.”  Because Martha was so intent on giving Jesus what she wanted to give Him, she actually deprived Him of being able to give to her.

I know I deprive myself when my busyness keeps me away from quiet time with Jesus.  But I am stunned by the thought that I might be denying Him the joy of feeding me when I don’t come.  *shiver* 

“You are my portion, O Lord.”  Psalm 119:57

“The Lord’s portion is his people.”  Deuteronomy 32:9

13 thoughts on “Main Course

  1. Weird, I’m so hungry now…

    Thanks for your posts about Martha/Mary/Jesus! Been thinking about the story…

    Jesus’ comments this time don’t seem to jibe with his usual emphasis on being a servant. I think Martha may have been thinking she was applying his “be in service to people” teaching and trying to look out for her baby sister… “Jesus? We’re supposed to be servants, right? So it would be a good opportunity for Mary to get off her lazy butt and help in the kitchen with serving, right?” We older sisters like to believe we know what baby sisters should be doing “for their own good”! haha!

    Maybe he was giving one of the 72 men (probably not that many in the house for dinner, but maybe!) the opportunity to jump up and offer to go help Martha. In the theme of your post here, I usually offer to help with the dishes after being fed so well!! Doesn’t sound like anyone did.

    What do you think about the unidentified people in this story about Mary, Martha and Jesus? The guests beside Jesus?

    Jesus is usually turning things upside down and inside out.
    I’m wondering if he is addressing the marginalization of women, sanctioning that Mary & Martha – WOMEN – could be taught by rabbis or sit in a room with the men discussing scripture.

    There are my random thoughts, stirred up by your M&M musings!

    • Hey! You’ve been quiet awhile! Now I see you’ve been ruminating and stirring up more questions! You always make me think…

      I think Jesus is all for servanthood, except when our perfectionism gets us all in a twitter and anxiety ties us up in knots. I believe that Martha fully expected Jesus to agree with her, because Mary was the one breaking the cultural rules. But Jesus was always shocking people by breaking the rules. The Samaritan was the good guy? What? A woman can be a disciple? Huh?

      As for the other characters in the room, maybe they didn’t want to get in the middle of two woman having a confrontation. And, were there 13 or 72 or was there only one or two? “…he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.” Just him? That would really change things, wouldn’t it?

      Balance. There’s a time to serve and a time to sit, for both personality types!

  2. How well I remember the 4-H Foods Revue! However, I was much happier sewing up something for the 4-H Dress Revue!

    Today I made a Martha dessert — one that needs my full attention, no distractions or interruptions during preparation, lest the apples turn brown or the dough becomes dry. It is called Apple Slices, a favorite recipe of my mother’s.

    As I prepared the recipe, my mind wandered to the Friday nights I came home late at night from college, finding a fresh pan of Apple Slices on the kitchen counter. I’m sure I devoured 1/4 of the pan while everyone slept. Mom would never complain about the missing pieces in the morning. There’s a lesson there…..

    My mind then wandered to the apples I was peeling. I picked them from the tree in our backyard. They looked so pretty on the outside, but some of them held unappetizing surprises on the inside…….another lesson, I am sure.

    My mind then wandered to…..alas, I don’t remember because a phone call interruptetd me and I became distracted. A 3rd lesson was there, but lost. I think I prefer the God-directed wanderings of the mind to the world-imposed interruptions.

    Apple Slices require the final “Martha” touch AFTER removing from the oven — a powdered sugar frosting applied at just the right time. I think I will help myself to about 1/4 of the pan! Thanks, Mom!

    My sister Dinah can come up the the appropriate Bible verse(s) for the above lessons. I will transition to Mary, and listen.

    Love you, dear sister!

    • My comments are a bit late — they refer more to the lesson on interruptions and distractions. But then, I am always sending belated birthday cards, too. Just ask Dinah!

    • Ohh, yummmm, Apple Slices! I was never able to make them like mom. Now I can’t think of anything else. Talk about distracting.

      What a year for us – dad’s passing and two girls married. Now that you can catch your breath, I hope you put some of those wandering thoughts and lessons to paper (or blog?) Lots of good things ahead!

      Now, how much for a pan of those Apple Slices?!

  3. I’m hungry, too! Maybe both physically and spiritually…. I love reading these, Dinah! And, Mom, I think you would do (more than) OK, too! 🙂 Love you both!

    And please save some apple slices for me and the boys this weekend!!

  4. I think we all would probably agree that Martha was definitely NOT serving Apple Slices that night or NO ONE would have been listening to Jesus!!

    Therefore, the logical conclusion is that Apple Slices are of the devil.

    Hahaha, only kidding!!!!!

  5. Bah ha ha, I’m loving this.

    Aunt Robin, I have the first two topics for your blog:

    1. How to make Grandma’s/Mom’s Apple Slices.
    2. The letter that was read at Meggy & Eric’s wedding.

    I will for sure subscribe to your blog, should it come into existence.
    So, you’re all set. Your welcome. Happy blogging 😉

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