Kitchen relief

Luke 10:38-42

Even a cursory investigation of art through the ages that contains images of Mary and Martha will uncover a common thread. Invariably, Mary and Martha are snarling at one another, having been forever pitted against one another by the Gospel of Luke. Whether it is in their dress or the look on their faces, most artists have taken this short passage from Luke and turned it into a dichotomy of discipleship, with Mary on the upside and Martha on the down. Anyone who has ever been the last one out of the kitchen after a potluck dinner—where everyone else was sitting and chatting—feels the sting of Jesus’ words as he lauds Mary’s choice over Martha’s. Anyone who has ever savored the luxury of time for spiritual development feels Mary’s relief when Jesus affirms her choice to sit at his feet.


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