With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to lose focus on the true meaning of Christmas. God never intended for us to race through the holidays at break neck speed. (Ouch, I'm personally convicted!) In Luke, Chapter 10, we hear about two sisters, Mary and Martha who entertained Jesus in their home. Now, if you were feeling a tad stressed over entertaining the family over the holidays, think about the stress Martha must have felt over having Jesus on the guest list. I say Martha because if you remember the story, Mary wasn't exactly stressing out over their special guest.
Here is a recap to refresh your memory:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
I can just picture poor Martha racing frantically through the house to get everything just right for Jesus' arrival. Finally, He arrives and her sister Mary occupies herself by sitting at His feet and clinging to His every word. You can imagine this didn't settle well with Martha and if you've ever tried to entertain a large group of people, I'm sure you can relate to her frustration. Finally, Martha can stand it no longer and asks Jesus to tell her sister to help out. I'm sure she never imagined that He would side with Mary, but He does. He gently tells her that she is
"worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
It's important to note that Jesus is not knocking serving, but rather making the point that "sitting" at His feet should precede serving. This Christmas, will you make an effort to slow down and "sit" at the feet of Jesus? Here are a few ideas to help you out:
• Each day, try to kneel and pray and thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus. It's even better if you can thank Him for other specific blessings you have experienced this past year.
• Listen to Christmas carols that honor God. When you play them, try to concentrate on the words behind the meaning.
• Start in the book of Luke and read a little bit each day. Again, try to imagine yourself in the setting as a bystander. What were they thinking and feeling?
• Have each member of your family write a note to Jesus, telling Him what you each plan to give Him next year. Seal it in an envelope, put a date on the front, and put them on your tree or fireplace mantel. Before you dive into presents or stockings, read the letters to Jesus. (My family has done this off and on through the years and it is so cool!)
• Read the Christmas story out loud to your family on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
Have a Mary Christmas!
© 2008, Vicki Courtney. Used by Permission. Originally posted at www.virtuealert.com.