Messy Mary

Messy Mary

Sunday, July 22, 2007
| Luke 10:38-42

Sales of organizing systems continue to soar, but there’s a new movement afoot that urges us to say yes to mess: “Bless this mess, O Lord, we pray.”

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

This question, from Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day,” is a great one to ask and answer on this particular summer day, as we think about the visit of Jesus to the house of Martha and Mary.

It’s a question we can ask the two women in this story.

What is it that you plan to do, Martha?

She might say, “Oh, straighten up the house, welcome Jesus, prepare a meal for him. This is my duty, after all. Anything else would bring shame on my family.”

And what is it that you plan to do, Mary?

“Sit at the Lord’s feet,” she says. “Listen to what he is teaching. I have just one ‘wild and precious life,’ so I’m going to use it to soak up the word of the Lord.”

So, one’s a worker.

And one’s a shirker.

The duty of a first-century Jewish woman is to help with household chores, and Mary knows this. By sitting at the feet of Jesus, she is acting like a man ... taking the place of a disciple! She’s violating a crystal-clear...

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