Today’s household object is the vacuum cleaner and the Bible passage is Luke 10:38-42, a passage that always resonates with me as I see the choices made by sisters Martha and Mary and realise the importance of spiritual priorities in a busy world full of things to do.

Keeping a house neat and tidy is something that some people really enjoy, but which most of us find quite tedious, no matter what labour-saving devices have been invented to help us. The vacuum cleaner is one such device, but no matter how many ‘aids’ we have, we still feel the pressure of juggling work outside the house, work inside the house , cooking, looking after family members and God! We have sympathy with the flustered Martha who is busy trying to cook and keep her guests happy whilst her sister simply sits at the feet of Jesus, and often find it hard to juggle our busy schedules, resenting those who tell us that prayer and Bible study are important.

Jesus made it clear that spiritual priorities have to be at the top of the list, however, and it really is a case of learning to prioritise. It’s also clear from the Bible that there is no spiritual/ secular divide in the way we often perceive it. The hymn ‘Teach me, my God and King’ by George Herbert makes this plain:

‘Teach me, my God and King,

In all things Thee to see,

And do what I do in anything

To do it as for Thee.’

Even our ‘mundane’ service using the vacuum cleaner can be an offering to God – and certainly, such devices make our lives a lot easier than our forefathers’!