One Necessary Thing for the Holidays

busy: (adj) \ˈbi-zē\ engaged in action : occupied : being in use : full of activity : bustling : foolishly or intrusively active : meddling : full of distracting detail

Did ol’ Merriam Webster have me in mind when writing this definition? There are days that I fear these words mark me. Days my blog bio should honestly read:

Becky Crenshaw: A busy and intrusively active wife. Mother of three and full of activity. Lover of Jesus and meddler of distracting detail.

Busyness. It eats my lunch. Driving its hectic teeth into my planner. Busyness bosses me around. Spouting out orders. Busyness wreaks havoc on my household. Busyness. Arguably one of the greatest curses of our culture. Busyness. The motivation for the following passage of scripture…

Now as they were on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “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 away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

I had read this story before. I knew the contrast of Mary and Martha. Numerous books have been written on this passage. The parallels have all been made. But. Oh but. When the Lord uses a “familiar” passage to speak to my soul… the words come to life – breathed fresh from Heaven that very day.

Martha, Martha. Oh we would have been friends.

We might have served on the same committee, you and I. Or shared the same recipe. I betcha we could have thrown one heck of a party. Martha, Martha. You wouldn’t have needed Mary. I would have been in the kitchen with you – your right-hand-gal.

I get tickled at Martha, all sassy. I’d bet she spoke with a hand on one hip, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” Occasionally, I paraphrase a bit making a character’s voice a little more personable. Martha doesn’t need my help. Nope, she’s animated all on her own. Can’t you envision her frustration? Motioning to her sister in the floor. With clinched teeth, Get up, Mary. We have company. What are you doing in the floor? Have you lost your mind?

Martha, Martha.

This time of year, we have to be a bit Martha, don’t we? Soon we, too, will be welcoming family and friends into our homes. Preparing dishes, decorating, shopping, addressing cards, school programs, staff parties, holiday travel. And we must do these things. None of them are bad. It’s when they all get thrown in together withing the span of 25 days that things get sticky.

This culture and its \ˈbi-zē\ pace, pins us against the wall and slaps Martha’s apron on. Get going now. Serve serve. Bustle here. Bustle there.

Is it possible to live out a Martha schedule with a Mary heart?

Is it possible to approach the busyness of the holiday season at the feet of Jesus?

Yes….But one thing is necessary.

And Mary had chosen it.

Mary, please tell us! The Martha’s and I need to know. What did you understand that your sister didn’t? Share your secret! What one thing did you choose? My holiday depends on it….

Come back for the next post as we learn about this one thing that was so necessary.

Today, do Jesus words speak to you? Could you replace Martha’s name in this passage for your own? “_______, ________. You are anxious and troubled about many things.”

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