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. (Luke 10:38-40)
Yesterday we learned about how Mary chose to sit with Jesus rather than get caught up in worldly expectations. She challenged us to examine how we’re going to react to the holidays. If you missed yesterdays post, read it here.
Today we’re going to see things from her older sister, Martha’s, perspective. She offers a different approach to the Christmas season because unlike her sister… she worked her tail off.
Being the oldest, Martha had the irritating tendency to take control. If there was a job to be done, Martha did it. She was known as a hospitable homemaker and wanted everyone to relax and enjoy their time in her home. Thanks to her efforts, they did.
With all that needs to be accomplished at Christmas time, we need Marthas. They play a vital role. Without them… we’d be up a creek.
- Nicely wrapped presents wouldn’t be under the tree
- There wouldn’t be any fudge or sugar cookies to consume
- Visiting family would sleep on dirty sheets
- The tree would be barren
- No Christmas letter would be written
You know what… we’re all Marthas. We make sure the family is fed, the bills are paid, the trash is taken out and the homework is done.
But we have to be careful.
You see unlike Marys, Marthas can struggle with missing the heart of the holidays. We become so engrossed in tackling our “to-do” lists, that we lose sight of why we’re even celebrating the season. In our minds, we don’t have the time to just sit and celebrate Jesus.
Just like Martha did when Jesus was visiting her home… we work behind the scenes to make everyone else comfortable. We don’t always seize the moment to sit with Jesus, because we have laundry to fold. We miss experiencing Christ, because we need to get to Walmart.
As Marthas, we have to make sure to engage our heart. While our brains and our hands are fully awake and on task… our hearts may be asleep.
Am I describing you? Let’s check. You might be a Martha if…
- you are already looking forward to the ball dropping in Times Square signifying the end of 2010.
- you suggest skipping church because your ankles are swollen from shopping.
- the employees at the grocery store know your name.
- you have a VIP parking spot at Kohl’s.
- Hallmark wants to hire you for your wrapping skills.
Martha (yes, I am speaking to you)… remember to keep your heart in what you are doing this season. Be intentional to reflect. Make sure your priorities are in the right order.
When Martha went to Jesus in frustration because she was doing all the work and her sister Mary was sitting on her backside, He said in Luke 10:41-42, “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.”
You see, Jesus wasn’t blaming her for being concerned about household chores… He was only asking her to examine her priorities.
Be intentional about engaging your heart, because in our crazyiness… we can miss the reason for the season.
Will you be a Martha?