“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.”
Be thoughtful. That’s something at the very heart of Christmas. Christmas presents. Christmas cards. Christmas parties and special meals when we get together with family and friends. All trying to express how much we appreciate people and how special they are to us.
Perhaps you don’t know the story of Martha. She and her sister, Mary (not Jesus’ mother – it was a common name) were friends of Jesus. They welcomed Jesus and some of his other friends into their home. Very thoughtful. And while Jesus spent time with people, speaking about God and life, Martha was trying to keep on being thoughtful, preparing a meal, trying to make everyone at home.
But it all got a bit too much. Especially as her sister, Mary, was not pulling her weight! So – let’s put it this way – Martha, Mary and Jesus had words! I don’t supposed there will be similar conversations happening in households this Christmas as we all try and be thoughtful. No? Well, be warned! Experts tell us that for families Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year! But then again, what do experts know!!
So, even if you push the advice of experts to one side, maybe Jesus’s response to Martha is worth pondering. You might want to question it, given Martha’s seemingly reasonable outburst! But, perhaps as we come near to Christmas, it reminds all of us that thoughtfulness is more than gifts and cards and the food and drink we put on the table. The strange thing is that these can distract from what is important. Sharing love and care, giving encouragement and, perhaps most of all, time and space to listen to one another and be together. These are some of the true the gifts of thoughtfulness that we share at Christmas.
Pray that in the midst of your busyness you will not miss Jesus this year.
Think of someone who is very busy at this time of year. Offer to do something for them.