Well, last week was a bust for my blog posts. I’m hoping to be better about it this week but it’s so hard to do that without my computer which is still waiting for the Doctor. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you a devotional that I am giving this weekend at my cookie exchange:
Luke 10:41-42 New International Version (NIV)
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
There has been a lot of talk about Mary and Martha this December. Some of it pro-Martha, some of it con-Martha but in the midst of it, I think we can gain a really good balance of pros and cons from Martha. My friend Faith wrote a really beautiful blog post about finding peace on your earth this Christmas. In it she wrote, “Ironically enough, it’s at Christmas that we are so busy trimming the tree, planning Christmas parties, addressing Christmas cards and belting out carols in celebration of Jesus’ birth, that we neglect truly worshiping and spending time with that same Jesus. If we learn anything from the Mary and Martha passage it’s that sitting at Jesus’ feet is much more important than all our Christmas festivities.”
It’s so true, isn’t it?! In the midst of all of the good things we may be doing we forget to worship. We forget to sit down and truly fellowship with one another for our own spiritual benefit. We can so easily go through the motions of “the good Christian” at Christmas time and yet completely forget that the whole reason we celebrate Christmas is to remember what Christ did and to celebrate and be thankful for his gift for us.
On the other side of that, what Martha was doing was so right. She was doing what God called her to do and gifted her to do…
1 Peter 4:9-11
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
She just didn’t realize that at the time, all she needed was BALANCE. I’m sure whatever you are doing this Christmas is sprung from the giftings that Christ has given you but, are you remembering to balance them with reflection and devoted time to him? I know that I’m not. Even in the midst of my deep desire to teach my boys to be intentional about what Christmas is about, I have neglected to give myself intentional quiet times. I have been relying solely off of the things that I read to the boys or what the most recent sermon was about. Even when I gather with close friends and family, I forget to really focus on WHY we are gathered. WHY we are doing what we are doing.
I tend to be very much a “Martha”. I have been gifted with hospitality and I love it but sometimes I forget that the reason I do it is to share Christ’s love more than just to make someone feel welcome or have a good time. In the midst of planning this cookie exchange with JoEllen, I was so excited to make a Stupendous party but I struggled with it missing something and JoEllen mentioned perhaps we should do a devotion and it filled in the missing piece for me. Yes, let’s gather and enjoy one another and some coffee and some much needed-chocolate BUT, let’s make the midst of it remind us of what is important and WHY we come together. What brings us together.
I was sitting in church yesterday by myself and as people filed in at the beginning of service I watched them and just thought to myself, “I am so thankful to be part of such a neat family.” Here at ACV I have felt so at home. More so than at other churches that I have tried and I am just so thankful. The entire reason that I can feel comfortable here is the gift of fellowship and hospitality. There is always someone that acknowledges you and gives a friendly face and you have to know that it is the love of the Christ that they do that. How neat to come together and celebrate in fellowship and confidence that we serve something bigger than our worries, desires, happiness, selves or whatever else.
The Master Creator came as a gross, screaming, pooping, puking Babe through the birth canal of an unwed, young , unknown girl that we might one day have eternal life with him. WHAT A GIFT. I cannot think of anyone better to spend time with at Christmas than with him; the husband that never fails us, the friend that never misses a holiday, the Daddy that is ever-so-near to us. Let’s just spend some time thanking him and basking in the greatness of his grace, presence and gift and enjoy our time together with him in the midst of us!