A devotional by Laura Thomas
December did it again. It snuck up on us lickety-split and reminded us of ALL THE THINGS we need to do to hold this season together. The baking, shopping, planning, mailing, decorating, wrapping, caroling, and all the other “ing’s” we can possibly cram into a month. Martha herself would be proud of our lists and our plans and our grand expectations. Or would she?
The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” ~Luke 10:41-42 (The Message)
This familiar sister story hits me between the eyes when the season of Advent rolls around. There’s Martha, the hostess-with-the-mostest, who is highly aggravated by her chilled-out sister, Mary, who seems to have all the time in the world to sit and listen to Jesus while the kettle boils and the potatoes need mashing. Most of us have both a little Martha and a little Mary in our make-up, but at Christmastime, the Martha-monster threatens to take over completely.
How messed up is that?
As we anticipate celebrating the birth of Christ, preparing our hearts can take a backseat to the frenzied festivities that vie for our attention. We primp and fuss and stress about the small stuff while “the main course” is left to go cold. That’s how The Message describes what other versions call “the good part, what is better, the good portion”, that is—Jesus time.
While Martha ran around like a headless chicken trying to make everything perfect for her Lord, Mary chose the perfect thing when she “sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said.”~(Luke 10:39, The Message)
So how about us? This is a busy time of year, for sure. Suddenly company is coming, Christmas is coming, Jesus is coming…oh yes.
Oh yes. Jesus.
We need to let our inner Mary increase, and our outer Martha decrease.
Especially at Christmas.
These wise words uttered by John the Baptist regarding the Lord Jesus, should surely be the echo of our hearts this Christmastime…and always: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (NIV) After all, what does our festive fretting and advent anxiety achieve? Certainly not joy, probably not peace.
Less of me, more of Him. Less of stress, more of love. It’s hard to pour out when you are running on empty, and isn’t this the season of giving? His love and ours? To Him and to others?
That consuming love of God, which Mary soaked in and devoured like air, “will not be taken away from her.” Not by the guilt trip from her sister, and not by any of the following (which happens to be rather a comprehensive list):
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
This beautiful love-gift, this Jesus who saves us, this gracious love of a Heavenly Father will not be ripped from us like wrapping paper strewn and discarded on Christmas morning. It is ours to be savored.
May Jesus be our good part, Jesus be our celebration, Jesus be the very center of our Christmas. Let’s focus on the “main course” and, like Mary, cherish every moment with Him.
Laura is a published Christian author with a heart for inspiring and encouraging readers of all ages.
She is truly multi-genre—with a published Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, children’s stories, devotionals for Union Gospel Press, musings on her blog, and she now has a literary agent representing her Christian romantic suspense novel.
Laura is English and Canadian, married to her high school sweetheart, mom of three, passionate about faith and family…and chocolate!
Connect with Laura:
Website - www.laurathomasauthor.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Laura-Thomas-183771121724664/?ref=hl
Twitter - https://twitter.com/laura_thomas_
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Note to Blog Readers from Alexis: This is Laura's last devotional for my blog. Due to her busy schedule, she can no longer commit to writing a devotional each month and publishing it here. SO please leave a kind comment for Laura below, letting her know how much you loved reading her devotionals this year! :)