Reflection: Mary and Martha
For further reading see John 11:5, Luke 10:38-42 and John 11:1-44
We often begin by contrasting the sisters Mary and Martha; but start a step back. What they have in common is welcoming Jesus. Martha opens her home to him. Mary sits at his feet. Both are faithful actions. Mary is accepted here in the posture of a disciple, unusual for a woman at that time. When their brother Lazarus dies, we again see the faith of both. While other disciples struggled to understand who Jesus is and what he would do, Martha shows great understanding, declaring Jesus to be the Messiah. Both sisters knew that Jesus could have saved Lazarus from death. We are told in John 11:5 that Jesus loved them and their brother, a personal statement showing the intimacy between Jesus and this family, and he weeps with them in their grief. This family shows the personal intimacy Jesus has with disciples, and that women were included within this.
Question: Paul says disciples should rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Rom 12:15). How can we develop close supportive friendship within the church, within and between the genders?
Prayer: Jesus, help us to remember that you call us friend, and call us into friendship with each other. Please give us healthy intimacy with each other and with you. Amen.