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9 May 2019
This actually is Martha and Mary. Those who have forgotten what they represent will find the original at Luke 10: ‘She [Martha] had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’s feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her’”‘ This crucial parable is explained more here eg. ‘Jesus said Mary made a conscious decision between two alternatives: She chose listening to Jesus over preparation of a meal. This may sound strange to those who, like Martha, think meal preparation is more important than visiting. But couldn’t that depend on who the guest is? The most pressing need in Martha’s eyes was that of preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples. Mary saw this situation differently. She chose to listen to the wisdom of Jesus, her Saviour, while she had the opportunity.’ (Most Persephone books re-tell this parable in some way. Think Diary of a Provincial Lady; Mariana‘s mother; Celia in They Knew Mr Knight who so disastrously forgot to be Mary and became Martha; A House in the Country; Family Roundabout; A Fortnight in September; oh this is a fascinating riff.) Today’s window is in University College Chapel, Oxford, it’s late 1630s/early 1640s and is by Abraham van Linge.
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