Luke 10.38 - 42
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’
The story of Martha and Mary, and their very different responses to the arrival of Jesus and his disciples for dinner, highlights what we feel true hospitality looks like.
Hospitality was very important - a sacred duty - in first century Middle Eastern homes, as it still is in many cultures. In this story Mary and Martha seem to have rather different ideas of what true hospitality looks like, however.
- What do you think of it?
- Did you grow up in a household that was often full of visitors? Were visitors a source of delight or anxiety and work in your household? Do you have many visitors now?
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's song, "Our House" paints a picture of a home where a couple look forward to happiness together. They don't mention visitors. How might welcoming others into their household strengthen or put pressure on a relationship?