(This post appears in Best of DeacPost, published by the LDA 2007)
“[Martha] said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world'” John 11:27 “She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he [Jesus] was saying.” Luke 10:39
Bold, busy Martha, such a mover, and a shaker. It was important for her to do. And quiet, sensitive Mary, whos words are not quoted in Scripture, but whose devotion to Jesus is unquestionable. It was important for her to be.
At our core, I think diaconal ministry resonates with Martha’s personality. Serving tables and nurturing others defines us; work becomes joyful participation in life. But when that part of us gets out of balance, Mary’s prayerful, listening characteristic is the one thing needful.
Thankfully we have both sisters’ gracious examples to remind us to be still, nourished by the Word, and go forth in joyful service. We can be both praying people and working people. We can be ora et labora (prayer and work) servants.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, inspire us to serve and to reflect, to speak and to listen in a healthy balance. Open us to delight in the peace you give. Amen.
Deaconess Dawn Riske, St. Louis, MO