“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41b-42)
Martha and Mary are examples of two different kinds of people in the church: those who are humble listeners who desire earnestly to spend time with God and those who complain about the first group because they are too distracted by their duties and obligations. I think we all feel like Martha at times, complaining about others but just as often distracted by duties and obligations, the things we ought to do. Such attention to duty is good except when it interferes with our relationship with Jesus or when we fail to show love and mercy to others.
When I am serving on the altar or acting as an usher I occasionally get distracted by my duties. I want to honor God and worship Him by serving but I also do not want to mess things up or distract or mislead others. My attention to duty causes me to miss out on what God is doing among His people, to miss the wisdom, love and mercy that is flowing in and through the congregation of believers.
Martha was one such distracted person. It is certainly true that she needed to show the gift of hospitality to such a wonderful person as Jesus who had graced her home with His presence. Hospitality is what Abraham displayed to the Lord so we realize it is quite a necessary and helpful gift in the Kingdom of God. What is not needed is for the person so gifted to complain about or be envious of those who do not share that gift. We all have our spiritual gifts, our roles, talents and calling that are unique to us. We all need each other.