Most readers of the New Testament are familiar with the story of Martha and Mary when Christ Jesus was a guest in their home. It will be recalled that one of these sisters, Mary, sat at the Master's feet, apparently drinking in eagerly the spiritual truths he taught; while the other, Martha, was "cumbered about much serving," or, to give the Greek meaning, was distracted with care. She complained thus to the great Teacher (Luke 10:40—42): "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me." The gentle rebuke of Jesus has without doubt been quoted to the Marthas in every century: "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Surely the man of Nazareth could not have been counseling the shirking of one's plain duty in the performance of necessary tasks. Was he not giving to these women, and also to his followers for all time, a lesson in putting first things first or, as he said on another occasion, seeking "first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matt. 6:33)? Do not his words indicate that Martha's human activities would have been carried on more successfully and with less burden had she too first of all been willing to sit at Jesus' feet and imbibe his gracious message of the kingdom? How necessary it is for the student of Christian Science to find himself humbly listening for Truth's guidance and inspiration before undertaking his appointed tasks! What Scientist cannot testify to work better done and a happier sense in the doing when, like Mary, he "hath chosen that good part" and sought first the spiritualization of consciousness?

Could one picture a practitioner of Christian Science, whose whole time is consecrated to the healing of the sick and sinful, approaching his sacred labors each day without first sitting at the feet of the Christ, Truth, in earnest prayer for spiritual understanding? In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mary Baker Eddy writes (p. 295): "The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality—much error—in order to become a better transparency for Truth." How necessary, then, that those who would heal the sick and reform the sinner should strive to keep the window-panes of thought glistening, free from the darkening smut of self-love and self-will!

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November 8, 1947

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