Martha is a biblical figure we get to read about in Luke and in John. She was a close friend of Jesus who frequently hosted people, including Jesus. Martha embodied a life of hospitality and service. Our verse today is from the account of Martha’s brother dying and then Jesus raising him from the dead. He had been dead four days before Jesus arrived. When he got to her house, Martha ran up to greet him, sharing her grief. In a powerful expression of faith, Martha recognized who Jesus was even in her pain and disappointment. Only a few people were recorded who declared the divinity of Christ, and Martha is one of those few.
I think it’s so important to understand that Martha was a woman of deep faith in Christ. She believed in Him and trusted Him, even when life was hard and full of disappointment. Out of this deep faith, she served. She used her time and energy to see the people around her receive the things that they need. Martha and her sister Mary were women who had plenty of material possessions, and they chose to regularly bless and serve others through their means. There are certain special people who have the gift of hospitality, and they reflect these characteristics of Martha.
I am challenged by Martha’s faith in this passage in John. She has a faith that doesn’t waver based on circumstance or disappointment; faith that in the midst of trial chooses to recognize who God is. For us, let us be people of faith who serve as a result. Let us look at the people in our lives and find ways to actively lift them up and love selflessly. Too few people know the love of God that gets on hands and knees to serve and wash people’s feet. Let us be those people that lower ourselves out of faith in order to love and serve.
God, I pray that you increase my faith. Even when life gets crazy, I know that you are God and you are good and you are with me. I pray that you become so important to me that everything in my life starts looking like a life of faith. Give me your heart to love and serve. Help me to notice ways in my everyday life that I can serve those around me. In your name, amen.