- Elizabeth. A woman filled with the Holy Spirit. Upon seeing Mary enter her home, Elizabeth spoke words which affirmed Mary’s identity and calling. Made me question if the words I speak to others do the same. Not by way of compliments which flatter, but in a way that truly recognizes and encourages them for who they are. Or do my words and actions discourage or minimize others? “Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” (Luke 1:42-45, NLT)
- Mary. She sat and listened to Jesus as He was teaching, humbling herself at the feet of Jesus. Mary teaches me two things. I need to know when to stop, to stay still, in order to listen to the voice of our Lord. In my busyness, I can miss His still small voice. Mary also teaches me to let the Lord come to my defense. Mary does not remark back to Martha, nor defend herself to Martha. She lets the Lord come to her defense. “But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NLT) May I be like Mary and choose that which is better.
- Martha. And now for the other sister. It was the home of Martha which Jesus came to eat. Martha welcomed Jesus so she obviously has the gift of hospitality “but Martha became was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.” (verse 40). Here is a woman who possesses the gift of hospitality and is exercising it. This is only a problem when she became distracted by the details. Even something good can distract us from our Lord. In the midst of opening up our homes and being hospitable, sharing a meal or coffee, may we not get so caught up in the details of what we are doing that we forget our Lord. May we remember it is Him that we serve. And may we remember those we are extending hospitality are more important than the details. They will never remember how clean (or not) your house was or if it the meal was served on fine china or paper dishes. But they will remember if you served them the love of Jesus and His Word. May He fill our homes and be present in our hearts as we serve Him.
- Mary Magdalene. She mourned for Jesus. At the graveside, Jesus spoke her name (John 20:16) and she immediately recognized Him. I love the tenderness of this passage. Mary Magdalene, the very first witness to our Lord’s resurrection. Not the 12 disciples. A woman. She saw Him. She heard His voice. This woman whose life had once been a broken mess had experienced the healing which Jesus brings. And He brings that very same healing to each of us and grants us the same privilege of relationship. Very humbling.
- Phoebe. A servant of the church, who helped many people. Paul mentioning her (Romans 16:1-2) as such was indicative that she was a woman who had both wealth and social status. She used both to honor God in helping others. Phoebe – a woman who used her resources to help others. This morning I pause to question myself > What resources have been given to me? Which do I use to help others? What do I give freely? Our resources can be a host of things besides money. Sometimes, money isn’t even what another person might need. Do I give my ear to listen? Do I give an encouraging word of Scripture? Does my life reflect Jesus? Do I offer my home – a meal, a bed to sleep in? Phoebe has provoked me to think outside the box.
May I be like these five women – staying close to Jesus, letting Him mold and shape my life, and using all which He has given me to honor Him.