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Mary and Martha Skit, by Lena Kanda American Baptist Women's Ministries Posted November 2006

Mary and Martha Skit

By Lena Kanda Luke 10:38-42 tells the story of Martha being gently reprimanded by Jesus when she complained to him about her sister Mary not helping her with the meal preparation. I have always wondered what changed in her relationship with Mary after interaction. This is the conversation I imagine may have occurred. Mary rushes in to the kitchen a bit out of breath; Martha is getting dinner ready at a low table set with candles and flowers. Mary: Hi, Martha--I'm home! Sorry I'm so late--the crowd was huge today. Martha: Thank goodness! I was beginning to get worried. Have Rhoda wash your feet and then come tell me all about your day with Jesus. Mary: Oh, Martha, it was a perfect afternoon with Jesus. Wait till I tell you what he was saying. First, let me change out of this robe. It's full of dust! Martha: Well, hurry up so we can eat supper. I'm just about famished and you must be, too. We can talk while we eat. Mary: OK--I'll be right back1 Mary goes out of the room. Martha speaks to the audience Martha: I know what you're all thinking. (Points to herself) Is this the same Martha we heard complaining to Jesus about Mary? I was angry that she was sitting at his feet and listening, when I thought she ought to be lending a hand with the meal preparations. Yes, you're right about that humbling episode in my life. I'm just the same Martha: I still like a clean house and a good meal ready on time and served with some style...but since that incident where Jesus--well, you might say he "cleaned my clock"--I've had a total change of attitude. You know when you complain to a friend about a problem you are having with someone and you think your friend should agree with you but, surprise, surprise, they don't? Your friend's disagreement shocks you and causes you to think about your own behavior. That's what happened when Jesus looked into my heart and found a pretty hard rock there--just his look softened me. He was so loving and kind when he corrected me. He didn't tell me that Mary was lazy and shouldn't leave all the work to me. He just showed me that there are many people like Mary whose deep desire is to sit at his feet and soak in all he has to say. Then there are women like me who are more concerned with doing things and--the truth be known--like getting a little spotlight on them for all their hard work. I was reminded that day that Jesus is the light and I don't need a puny little spotlight when he is around! I was really chastened, I'm telling you. Maybe if I am honest, I'd have to admit to having felt even a wee bit put out! But Jesus was so loving I couldn't just pout or give Mary the silent treatment which...honestly...I thought she deserved. Jesus didn't put me down either. He just said Mary had chosen the better part. So I realized that I had to change and get my priorities in the right order. We sat down the very next morning at breakfast --I even made a special treat for Mary. We agreed that both of us needed to grow from Jesus words. Yes! I am totally convinced he is the Messiah. I confessed to Mary that I had been selfish and often quite short with her. Lazarus can attest to that, too, I'm sorry to say. Believe me, it wasn't easy to admit this to her and Lazarus. I was set in my ways and my way was always the right way! It meant I had to give up the feeling of superiority that I nursed in my hard little heart. Mary told me that she didn't want to leave me with all the work but she felt it was just really important to be with Jesus now and soak

in everything he said and did. She seemed to think he wouldn't be around much longer so she wanted to store it all up in her heart for when he went away. The problem was, then, to figure out how both of us could grow and develop spiritually with Jesus. You all know the home fires have to be tended--some of you have husbands and families--I have my brother Lazarus as well as Mary. Plus, I am getting on in years and I can't traipse all over Galilee following Jesus wherever he went to listen to him. There had to be another way for me. I wanted Mary to be with Jesus as much as possible, so we agreed that she would go and listen to him and then come back and tell me everything. She is so different from Lazarus-- she tells me every single thing that happens when she is with Jesus and the disciples. Lazarus just says "It was wonderful" and leaves me to try and drag more information out of him. That man is really aggravating. Mary gives me all the little details a woman is interested in. I am sure you all have a friend or sister like that--no detail goes unnoticed. The house work would just have to take a back seat so I decided that we should eat much more simply to help ease the burden on me. Mary said she would really work hard to get things done before she went out for the day. It took a little while, but I finally stopped worrying about chores and began to enjoy her singing and cheerful laughter. I noticed how kind and thoughtful she is too. I'd be lost without her. Mind you, I'm not saying that I still don't fuss on occasion. Change is very hard for me! Maybe you'd agree, though, that when Jesus changes you, it also seems to change other people, too, because your attitude to life and what is important are what have been changed! Mary and I are really wild about Jesus in our own different ways. I hope you all are, too! Mary comes back to the kitchen in a clean robe. Martha: Oh, there you are. Come and tell all. I made this lentil dish from that recipe Johanna gave you last week. It's really tasty, so please tell her I appreciate her sharing her secret with us. Mary: I will! She brings Jesus lunch sometimes and always shares her recipes. Martha, I wish you could have been there today. Jesus was teaching the disciples to pray. I've noticed he prays a lot-- often going off alone into the wilderness or up the mountain and staying all night in prayer. Prayer must be very important. You must remember the times he stayed with us--he would always go out very early to be alone and pray before anyone else was awake. He always came back looking so refreshed and full of energy. God must have given him strength for the day. I am so glad the disciples asked him to teach them to pray--now I can teach you the words he taught them and we can start praying this prayer together every morning. Long after we are gone I think these words will be remembered as the Lord's Prayer. Martha: Yes, teach me the words, Mary! Mary: This is what he said. "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Martha: The kingdom and the power and the glory belong to him, indeed! Martha and Mary: Amen! Martha: What a wonderful prayer. Let's discuss it later with Lazarus, and every day we will pray this together before the daily work begins. Mary, you are truly God's gift to me, sharing Jesus and helping me grow. Thank you for being my sister.

Lena Kanda is a member of Court Street Baptist Church, Auburn, Maine.



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