Many who hear this story of Mary and Martha feel confused. It can feel like a no-win story.
Martha is not only busy, but she is anxious about ensuring there is practical hospitality to offer to Jesus. Someone has to clean the house. Someone has to butcher the goat. Someone has to bake the bread. It won’t just magically happen on its own.
Mary sets the bustle of the household aside. She sits at Jesus’ feet to listen with rapt attention to his teaching. She wants to receive all the life, encouragement and hope that comes through Jesus’ words.
We need and want both. We want to serve and offer excellent hospitality. And we want to be spiritually nourished and challenged. So when Jesus says that Mary has chosen the better way, sometimes it can feel like hospitality is being relegated to lesser importance.
I don’t think this is what Jesus is saying.