Martha and Mary
I love it when prophecies are fulfilled -
Now in the gospel story of Martha and Mary we have another little cameo of domestic life which has often been misunderstood. Often it is suggested that Martha’s role in the kitchen is criticised or down played; or, that it means that women should be either in a domestic role or be religious contemplatives, nuns, like Mary at Jesus’ feet. Well actually I think something more radical was taking place when you put it in context. What Mary did was extraordinary -
Likewise in Acts and the epistles we find evidence of named women in leadership roles in the early church. That was suppressed later, maybe when the church was legitimised and institutionalised.
Mary, you see, was not going to stay sitting there, all droopy eyed and adoring -
I was lucky enough at a conference this last week to hear Rowan Williams give an address, and he was asked afterwards what his advice would be now to Teresa May. His subject was prayer, and he said I would advise her to pray that she will not lie -
Prayer, as Rowan sees it, brings us face to face with God the Truth, God who knows all the truth about me -
Abraham and Sarah didn't realise that they were entertaining the Lord in the three strangers. The reader knows that, as the narrator identifies them by saying ‘The Lord appeared to Abraham…he looked up and saw three men’. Mary and Martha knew who Jesus was -