In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Mary and Martha. They are two grown up sisters living in Bethany. They are mentioned three times in the Life of Jesus. You can also read about them in John 11 – when their brother Lazarus is bought back to life – and in John 12 – when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.
You could tell all three of these stories over three sessions or pick a couple. It’s good to include stories about women in our groups as so many of the listeners are women and a lot of Bible stories are about men! I always try to be mindful of this when I’m planning which stories to include.
To tell the story –
In the story bag I had the three main characters – Martha, Mary and Jesus and some pots and pans, a wooden spoon and a cloth. You could have an apron or a duster. As you introduce the characters take them from the story bag and say ‘hello’
‘Mary and Martha were two grown-up sisters. One day Martha invited Jesus to come to their home for a meal.
Jesus was very happy to go to Mary and Martha’s house.
When he got there Jesus began to talk about God. Mary so wanted to listen to everything that he had to say. She sat down and listened.
But Martha had a lot to do! There was tidying to be done. There was the cooking to be done. Pans needed stirring!(Use the props from the story bag – encourage the children to mime the actions too) Food needed chopping! Plates needed wiping! Water needed pouring! She was busy, busy, busy! (Can you say that with me? She was busy, busy, busy!)
Mary sat still and listened to Jesus.
Martha was not happy!
She said to Jesus, ‘ Lord, don’t you care that I’ve been left to do all the work by myself?! Tell my sister to help me!’
But Jesus didn’t do what Martha said. Instead he said to Martha, ‘You don’t need to worry so much about all the things that need to be done. You need to listen to my words too.’
Today we can listen to the words of Jesus by listening to stories about him and reading the Bible.’
Make people collages – you could add the words, ‘We use our ears to listen’