This second week of Advent is the week of Peace!
On their way Yeshua and his talmidim came to a village where a woman named Marta welcomed him into her home. She had a sister called Miryam who also sat at the Lord’s feet and heard what he had to say. But Marta was busy with all the work to be done; so, going up to him, she said, “Sir, don’t you care that my sister has been leaving me to do all the work by myself?” However, the Lord answered her, “Marta, Marta, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! But there is only one thing that is essential. Miryam has chosen the right thing, and it won’t be taken away from her.”Luke 10:38-42 (CJB)
You probably know this story. Hopefully the translation did its job of making it feel a little bit new, but you know this story. Not only do I know this story; I feel this story. I’m usually pretty good about balancing my Martha and Mary (Marta and Miryam) sides in life. But this time of year is just a Martha time of year. There is so much to do. There is so much magic to create. There are still the usual Tuesday messes to be attended to, but these are magical Tuesday messes. There is more baking. (And more baking messes.) There are more crafts. (And more craft messes.) There are more guests. (And more cleaning the bathroom for those guests.) There is so much to do; it is far too easy to slip into harried Martha mode.
But there is one thing essential during this season. Those cookies—they aren’t necessary. The elaborate Christmas dinner—not necessary. (We all know that from A Christmas Story.) Those gifts—not necessary. The pony bead candy cane ornaments (Lord, help me!)—not necessary. What is essential? What is necessary? Jesus. Taking the time to sit at the feet of Jesus during this season—that is necessary.
Learn to sit. Learn to just be with those you’re with. Learn to ignore what we feel is pressing in on us for what is eternal. Those people, they’re always more important than presents. (Presence over presents!) That Baby in the manger is so much more important than a stocking on the mantle. Sit with your people. Sit with Jesus.
Those stockings aren’t bad—if you’ve got time for them, fine. The cookies aren’t evil—make them, and sit and enjoy them with your little ones (instead of cleaning while they enjoy them). The gifts aren’t awful as long as you know they aren’t the most important thing. Anything that is taking you away from sitting at the feet of Jesus—give that up. If Santa turns your house into a gimme zone, kick that fat man out. If the elf on the shelf occupies too much of your cuddling-by-the-fire time, the elf can pack his bags. If anything is keeping your eyes off Emmanuel, be done with it. Embrace a Mary’s heart this Advent, and sit down!
Today’s song: Carol of the Banjos by Beta Radio