Open your Bible and read Luke 10.
If you’re ever a guest in my mom’s home, you’ll instantly know that she’s in her element. Hosting is definitely one of the things she does best. She puts a lot of thought, time, and energy into it, and it shows.
One of the things that makes it such a joy to be a guest of my parents is that, even if it’s an evening of extravagance, the atmosphere is one of complete and utter calm. Mom’s a master at getting the busywork out of the way before the guests arrive so that she can just enjoy their company.
Sometimes when I offer to help her clean up after the meal, she says, “Let’s just leave it. I can deal with it later. Right now, I just want to visit with you.” If that doesn’t make a person feel loved and welcome, I don’t know what does!
Martha never met my mom. It’s too bad. She could’ve learned a thing or two.
In all honesty, most of us could, right? Especially this time of year. The Christmas season tends to push us to our hospitality limits. Expectations are high and there just isn’t enough time, money, or hands to get everything just right before our guests arrive or our special event begins.
If we’re not careful, our desire to serve our loved ones turns from delighted devotion to dutiful drudgery. No one wants that!
So what do we need to do?
Jesus told Martha that only one thing was needed:
“but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42, NIV).”
What did Mary choose? She chose relationship over refreshments, friendship over food, listening over lording.
Mary recognized that her relationship with Jesus was more valuable than anything else. What she received in her intimacy with Him could never be taken away from her. Not even busyness, a bossy sister, or big dinner obligations.
This Christmas season, don’t get caught up in doing for Jesus so much that you forget to delight in Jesus.