PRESENCE NOT PRESENTS

“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

Even as I write these lines, we are all already swamped by the Christmas season annual frenzy (read insanity, if that’s how you feel…). Yesterday, the town and the supermarkets seemed insanely busy. It’s like we are expecting to store up provisions for at least a month… I almost wish we missed this last few days and our pursuit for goods….

I am sure that you know what I mean. The shopping, the meal arrangements, the Christmas play, the decorations, the holiday plans…and the list goes on and on… One thing that most of us struggle with – even those of you who have started your planning and shopping in January – is choosing the right present for the right person. So tough and frustrating! But I want to encourage you about another area where we must make the right choice.

Every Christmas we battle with the Martha syndrome. We are so busy that often we neglect our own spiritual health at the expense of excelling and laborious preparations. We get to Christmas day and we are so worn out that a nervous breakdown could easily be just around the corner. We wake up on Boxing Day and wonder ‘was that it?

You know, in spite of the bad press she gets, I love Martha, She loves Jesus deeply. And the way Martha expresses her love for Him is though her hospitality. I get wound up (mildly) with those who ‘have a go’ at her. I bet they are not ‘happy bunnies’ if the house looks like a garbage refill site and if the dinner table is empty… But let’s face it. Somehow Martha gets it wrong. Jesus is encouraging her to review her attitude and invites her to refocus. Mary chose the better way. She chose to serve the Master by spending time and listening to Him – and He commended her for it. I guess we could call it devotion.

As the Christmas season is in full swing I encourage and pray that you would take time out from the many voices that call on you – and spend time with the Master:

Make prayer a priority – giving thanks for His gracious arrival and pray for those who do not know Him yet!

Read Scripture – make yourself familiar with the Nativity passages. Discover new gems and let them impact your lifestyle!

Serve others – the best ‘thank you’ that Jesus can get, is you becoming incarnational in your loving service to others!

And if you did not manage to do all that until now – it isn’t too late. Go for it – live differently. Chose well!

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