Spend Some Time With Jesus

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “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)

There is perhaps no better place to see how stressful the holiday season can become than the parking lot of a shopping mall on Black Friday. Some people, it seems, will run you over for a parking space. And the frantic shopping rush doesn’t let up until Christmas morning.

Even with the best of intentions, the Christmas season can all too easily dissolve into a hectic scramble to decorate the house, put up the tree, send Christmas cards, bake, shop, wrap presents, and attend various holiday gatherings. As we get ready to celebrate our Savior’s birth, we’ll need to be intentional if we are to avoid becoming “distracted by all the preparations.”

A recent survey conducted right after the holidays asked people to think back on the holidays and consider what they wish they had done differently.  It found that Parents with at least one child living at home were especially likely to regret how much they spent on gifts, not spending enough time reflecting on the spiritual significance of the holidays, and not giving enough money to charity. This highlights the unique anxiety parents feel during the holidays of wanting to make the season special for their kids while also wanting them to know that it’s not just about the gifts.

Let’s remember Jesus’ teaching that “only one thing is needed.” He never asked for a perfect feast to be prepared in his honor or for our houses to be decorated in Martha Stewart fashion. And he certainly didn’t encourage us to stress over finding the perfect gifts or to go into debt to pay for them. He asked only that we turn our attention to Him.

So, as we prepare for this holiday season be sure not to overlook the one thing that is truly needed: time with the One whose birth we celebrate.

Grace & Peace,

Bob Clark

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