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 few things are needed – or indeed only one, Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
A few weekends ago, the Lord invited me into a day of silence. Yes, a silent retreat with a group of sweet women that placed us all in separate rooms, with nothing but our Bibles, a journal and a gift bag of “silent retreat” goodies to guide our time – colored pencils, note cards, tissues and, of course, chocolate.
The week leading up to this retreat, I wish I could say I was looking forward to the solitude. But to be perfectly honest, between us, I was terrified. Yep. There it is.
I mean, me? Energetic and antsy. Sitting 8 hours with “nothing” to do. I knew I would enjoy it for a bit, but feared I’d be climbing the walls after one hour.
As I settled into my place in the house, I was overwhelmed by rest. Deep, to the bone, rest. And while I never fell fully asleep, the Lord brought a peace over my anxious body I had honestly never experienced.
“This is your Mary retreat.” I heard.
“Your day to be Mary. To rest and listen.”
Now these weren’t audible words, per say, but Spirit words from the Lord, prompting me to diligently search for Mary and Martha in Scripture. I had read the story before, always identifying with Martha – scuttling around her kitchen and worried about all the things – but the Lord was opening His hand on this overcast Saturday…. “This is your day to identify with Mary.”
So I did. For hours, and I mean HOURS, we danced through this story with pen in hand, making note of every idea, phrase and translation within. And knowing God was calling me to write for you during Advent, I knew THIS STORY was the one.
Granted, I was a little bummed there would be no baby Jesus in this Advent writing. But I can say with confidence, we will not be lacking this Christmas for Bethlehem stories.
No, He has something for us here. The next three weeks, I invite you into Advent with me. Digging deep into the lives of these two women – two we can learn much from regarding options for our heart this holiday season.
As day one of our Advent together, I invite you to sit with the story, read it over a few times and pray (posted above). Ask the Lord to bring to life both characters and open your heart to learn afresh from a very familiar passage.
And if you are doing the #iRevAdvent fitness series with me – I am super excited for you. We will partner this story with the gift of moving our bodies, choosing the “good portion” this Christmas and meeting together online to discuss.
If you are interested in joining us for the fitness journey, it is not too late. Click here to register. Invite a friend!
Choosing What Is Better:
- Read the story through once and ask yourself, “What immediately jumps off the page to me? What is happening in this story?”
- Read the story through a second time and ask yourself, “Why did these certain things jump off the page to ME? What might be happening in my life that makes those things significant?”
- Last, read the story a third time and turn it into a prayer. For example, “Lord I am worried and upset about _______________. I know that only few things are needed. Help me choose what is better this holiday season. Help me choose You in every moment.”
Thank you for this Becky. It is really easy to get lost in all the preparation for the holidays and lose sight of the reason we celebrate. This year especially, I pray to be more focused on Immanuel – God with us. Love you!
Thank you, Bec!
I am resting and listening!