So we got this new game for the kids, it’s called “Super Mario Maker 2”. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the game, but I’m pretty sure you’d be familiar at least with Mario, the lovable plumber fellow who is the face of all things Nintendo. As the name suggests, this game taps into your creative side, and you actually make a Mario game using tools within the game. Well, not a whole game, but different levels which you can post online and have others try them. It’s a really fun game.
Well, it’s fun until two young boys who want to play the only copy of the single-player game at the same time. Then the fighting starts. And when they finally figure out whose turn it is, the other always has an opinion as to how you’re supposed to make your own level. It’s always “put that block there” or “you can’t use that thing there” or “it’d be more fun to do it this way” or something like that.
The thing is (for all of us), we are always right. And our opinion on how things should be done is the one that should be followed. Everything else is just wrong (or perhaps slightly less right). The thing is though, as the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. There is more than one way a Mario level can be fun. There is more than one way that can be considered helpful, productive, or even right.
But the trick is to figure out how we can be right and they can be right at the same time. Because believe it or not, that is often the case.
Here we have the famous Mary and Martha story that many of the lazy folk out there love to use against the hard working folk to get off their back and let them be lazy. “Martha was lazy, and Jesus said that she chose better. So there!”
And I admit, the story does seem to be that, doesn’t it? Poor Martha is doing all this work while Mary just sits there, and so she does what any of us who are doing all the work would do. She complains. But Jesus tells her to relax and leave Mary be. And all the lazy people rejoiced.
But unfortunately, I don’t think this is what it’s about. Rather, it’s about relationship. It’s about hospitality. And it’s about there being more than one way to skin a cat.
See, Martha is working hard to show hospitality. Mary is also working hard on building relationships. They are doing it differently. They are both right. And they can both allow the other to continue doing their thing, as what is right for one might not be right for the other, but that doesn’t make it any less right.
Ok, maybe I confused even myself a little there, but like the game my boys like to play, there are many ways to express creativity and fun and ways of doing things. The same is for relationships, community, and hospitality. There is no magic formula for us to build a good relationship, but we just have to see what works and go from there.
So Jesus saying that Mary choosing right isn’t about her knowing how to sit around and do nothing. But that she sat around and didn’t complain and worry about Martha not sitting there with her, but accepted that Martha will do her thing and Mary can do hers.
It is a joyful thing, knowing that we are all different in how we can see things, do things, and express ourselves and yet still be in relationship and community with each other. Thanks be to God!
Have a great week, everyone!