Sitting at the Feet of Jesus
It is only a few more days to go until Christmas! For many of us, these last few days before Christmas are filled with last-minute shopping for gifts, or last-minute preparation for any kind of Christmas events. Some of us who are volunteers for our church will probably be busy with setting up the church for all our Christmas carol events, or Christmas services or Christmas lunches. As you can see, Christmas is probably the busiest time for many people.
It is then only appropriate that we come to our passage today in the midst of our busyness. This is a well-known incident in the lives of Martha and Mary. Martha opened her home to Jesus and his disciples, and she spent the whole time being distracted by all the preparations that had to be made as a host to the Son of God. She was very busy serving Jesus, making sure that her home is fit for Jesus. When she saw Mary just sitting at the feet of Jesus, she snapped at Jesus about Mary. She was so busy serving Jesus, that she ignored him. In fact, it was because of her service that she was a bit resentful to Jesus for the perceived laziness/inconsideration of Mary. She felt that she was entitled to some help. Jesus answered her gently, simply stating that there is really only one thing that is needed – to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him. “Mary has chosen what is better”. (v42)
The same can quite easily be said about us and our distractions in serving Jesus, particularly during Christmas. We buy gifts, buy Christmas trees, buy decorations for the Christmas trees, organise/host lunches, help to decorate the church, volunteer to sing as part of the choir, attend a Christmas carol near your house, organise/attend a company Christmas party, and the list goes on. While all the things listed are good things in of themselves, but they can so easily be a distraction to our worship and celebration of Jesus Christ.
As Jesus said, we are “worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.” (v41) We are so conditioned by our culture to think that we need those things, but in reality we do not. The danger is also that like Martha, we can easily become resentful to Jesus about “those people” who do not participate in such things, and thus not help us in our activities. However, as Jesus said, only one thing is needed – to be like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus, listening to him.
Let us do that this coming Christmas. Let us commit to setting aside time to sit at the feet of Jesus, listening to him and obeying him. One way that you can do that, is just to take an hour one of these days, sit down together with your family, and read and meditate upon Luke 2 together. Let us not be like Martha, who was constantly “serving” Jesus, but completely ignoring him.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to keep us focused upon Jesus Christ for the glory of the Father as we go through the festivities