The multi-colored candy-coated chocolate pieces called ‘m & m’s” are a favorite of mine. I am not a fan of the peanut or caramel varieties; I am a purist when it comes to that candy. The reason I bring them up in this devotional is because a dear friend of mine once used them in a devotional she taught decades ago to a woman’s Bible Study group. She handed them out because “they melt in your mouth, not in your hand.” She was teaching about Mary and Martha, thus “m & m.” It continues to remind me of this first story from Luke 10: 38-42 in which Martha “distracted by all the preparations to be made” was upset that her sister was not helping and Mary was just sitting at Jesus’ feet listening. She complained about it to Him, and, in His gentle response, He reminded her that her many distractions caused her to miss the one important thing, being with Him.

In John 12:1-7, there is a similar scene in the home of Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus, who had recently been raised from the dead. This dinner, being in honor of Jesus, was being served by Martha and it looks as if Mary is not helping again. However, Martha says nothing about it, and sees her sister worshiping Jesus as she poured the fragrant oil on his feet and wiped them with her hair. As the perfume filled the air, I believe Martha loved seeing Mary worship the Lord in this extravagant gift. Why is this so different? Because the focus, the one important thing, was the worship and love for the Lord.

People have often categorized themselves as a Martha type, a doer, or a Mary type, a contemplative. They are both ways of worshiping and loving the Lord, but we can be both. I think Brother Lawrence in the Christian classic, Practicing the Presence of God, helps us understand how to live being both! This barefooted Carmelite lay brother began working as a cook in the monastery in Paris in about 1666. He continued for the next 30 plus years to work among the pots and pans, determined to live each day that “he might perform all his actions for the love of God.” This humble, uneducated doer was also a contemplative. “The time of business,” he said, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several people are at the same time calling different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

The verse that comes to mind as this devotional comes to a close is:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
I Corinthians 10:31

Reflection: Take a few moments to slowly repeat I Corinthians 10:31 and emphasize the words ‘whatever’ and ‘to the glory of God.’ How would your day differ if this is the way the Lord wants you to love Him? (And perhaps get some ‘m & m’s’ as a reminder! 😊)

Francie Overstreet

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