Thursday, December 15, 2016

Don't Be Stressed Out About Christmas....Instead Have a "Mary" Christmas.

By Jean Blackmer

Martha squeezed her way through the crowd of people in her home who came to hear Jesus speak. She carried a large bowl filled with pomegranates, grapes, and figs. She set these on the wooden table and went back to get the bread she had made earlier in the day. Where is Mary? She thought, as she tore the bread into bite-size pieces and placed the chunks on a platter.

A crippled man dressed in rags, sitting on the dusty floor near the doorway to her kitchen, reached out and touched her hand as she passed. “May I have some water,” he asked. She pushed a strand of hair away from her face as she looked down at him. “Of course,” she answered realizing her own throat was parched. She hadn’t had time to eat or drink anything yet today. Again, she wondered, Where on earth is Mary? I can’t take care of all these people myself. She found a mug, poured some water into it, and handed it to the man.
The room was filled with people. Many of them had traveled long distances to hear Jesus speak. They were all hungry and thirsty. She wanted her home to be a refuge, a place to relax and to soak up the words Jesus spoke. Powerful words that changed people's lives. She could hear his familiar voice resonating throughout her home, but she didn’t have time to listen to his message. It was her duty to take care of all these people. She glanced around the room trying to find Mary. She needed her help, desperately. “Where is she?”
Martha stood on her tiptoes and looked over the heads of the crowd to where Jesus sat on a wooden chair next to the fireplace, which she noticed needed more wood. Then she spotted Mary. She was sitting on the floor at Jesus' feet.

Martha pushed her way through the people towards Jesus. He saw her coming and paused for a moment, knowing she wanted to talk to him. 

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? 

Tell her to help me,” Martha demanded.

Jesus looked into Martha’s eyes, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken from her.” Jesus’ words pierced her heart.

She felt the tears well up in her eyes. Jesus, who had the power to heal, and do all sorts of miracles, had been right in her midst, and she had spent the time busy and anxious, missing the blessings he offered. She looked at Mary who seemed so peaceful. She had a glow about her, a joy Martha didn’t have. Jesus continued speaking to the crowd as Martha placed a few pieces of wood on the fire. She stopped and really listened. “I have come that you may have peace…”

As Christmas approaches, many women get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. Like Martha, women become anxious, overwhelmed and busy. No wonder a recent online survey discovered the words that first come to a woman’s mind during the holiday season are “stress,” and “anxiety”. In this same survey, many women confessed they struggled more during the holidays with depression, and many turned to overeating and alcohol to decrease their anxiety. 

We’re still struggling today with the same issues Martha did. We get distracted being busy, we fret over what gifts to give, we focus on decorating our homes, and fixing impressive foods. Our motives of serving others, creating an inviting environment and meaningful traditions are good, but if the result is stress and anxiety, then perhaps we're missing the point. Celebrating the birth of Jesus should be a time of peace.

He longs for us to rest in Him, 

not be busy because of Him. 

Let’s celebrate the birth of Jesus with a new heart. This year let's not have a have a Martha Christmas... 

This year have a Very “Mary” Christmas!

Jean Blackmer is married to Zane and mother to three boys. She’s authored three books, including MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, contributed content to more than 20 books, and written articles for a variety of magazines. She loves her family, chocolate, scuba diving and being outside as often as possible. She's managing the blog for the Flatirons Women's Ministry and is looking for writers! 


No comments:

Post a Comment