Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (1654-55) painted by Jan Vermeer (1632-1675) Oil on canvas (160 X 142 cm.) National Gallery of Scotland, Image Courtesy of Web Gallery of Art.
- This is the story featured in Luke 10: 38-42.
- Vermeer places this scene in a simple setting with Mary positioned lower and bare foot to symbolize humility.
- He further directs our eye to Mary by using Jesus’ gesture to point to her while he is speaking.
- Notice all the rich detail of Mary’s head scarf and linger there.
- She is sitting with her head in her hand to give us the idea of contemplation.
- It seems that in many ways Vermeer is setting up a conflict here between the life of works (Martha) and the life of contemplation (Mary)
- “Martha was distracted by many things….Mary has chosen the good portion.”
Now let us begin to visualize ourselves into this scene…being close…being still…just listening.
Let us resolve to quiet our thoughts so that we can hear our Savior’s voice and when we do, when we come to the feet of Jesus what will he say to us?
Making time to do this each day will produce a heart that is ready to hear when God calls us and one that will joyfully praise him in our worship. Because we have allowed him to have a presence in our lives, He will have much more of a presence in our worship.
Dear Lord help us today as we come before your throne to worship you from our hearts. Let our time of worship with our church family serve to strengthen our resolve to be your light unto the world. Teach us how to recognize your guiding spirit as we go about our daily lives and help us to learn how to quiet the noise and distractions that keep us from hearing your voice. Amen