Have a Mary Christmas!

Christmas trees, presents and parties, oh my! How’s that Christmas season treatin’ ya so far? Is it just me, or do people get meaner while driving their cars around this time of the year? All of a sudden, it’s as if everyone is saying within the confines of their car, “Get out of my way! I have WAY too much to do, and YOU are slowing me down!” Granted, there is a lot to think about during this season, and especially us as women can become so busy that we forget what we are really meant to be all about! I’ve never been a “yes” person. Do you know any “yes” people? Sure, they can be on that committee, yes they can throw that party, of course, they can make that meal and lead that small group and drive the carpool, yes, yes, yes. Yet before long, they are bogged down and burned out.


But where in the middle of all of that busyness is the “yes” for time with Jesus?

God’s calling on our lives doesn’t change just because there are festivities to attend, presents to buy and houses to be decorated. He still calls us to sit at His feet, rest in His presence and give Him our full attention. I think about Mary and Martha. Jesus was IN THEIR HOUSE, and all Martha could do was work, work, work and judge Mary because she wasn’t doing anything but sitting and listening to Jesus…how DARE she! She even goes so far as to say, “Jeeesuuus…Mary isn’t heeeeeelping me!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say it in a whiney voice, but that’s the way I hear it in my head, so work with me, friends.

I imagine that Jesus’ voice back to her was calm, sure and perhaps longing. “Oh Martha…how could I ask Mary to stop doing what her heart is compelling her to do? She is content; she is enraptured; she is at rest.” I’m sure Jesus longed for Martha to do the same.

My Mom has always been an example to me of a woman who rests at Jesus’ feet every single morning.

I’m sure she had to fight for this time when we were all kids, but her intent and practice of reading God’s love letter every single day has become her norm. These days if I show up to her house early, I can find her wrapped up in her cozy robe with her tea and her Bible open at the kitchen table. Her dedication to God’s Word is something I strive for, and I am thankful for her example. My Mom is the women’s director at our church, so she is at the helm of planning all the women’s events and leads a great team of helpers. Around this time of year, things start to get really busy for her. One year around the holidays, I remember her talking about all she had to do that day, and she didn’t know how she would fit it all in. She said she started to get busy before reading her Bible and then realized, “I have too much to do to NOT read my Bible.” She needed her time at Jesus’ feet, to rest in Him, hear from Him and receive strength to tackle that to-do list. When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary’s lack of concern for all that needed to be done, His response to her was:

“Martha, Martha, 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: 41-42, NIV).

What does your to-do list look like today?

If it looks anything like mine, I’m sure it is chock-full of tasks. Can I encourage you to do something? Go to your to-do list, knock the top item down a notch and write at the top “Be a Mary.” Choose the better thing. Choose time with Jesus before you do any other items on your list today. God wants your attention, not your work. He is, after all, the reason Christmas began in the first place. Give Him your time today, rest in His presence and allow Him to pour into you all you need to get through the busyness of this season. Even and especially the patience with all those crazy parking lots and freeways! Have a very Merry Christmas, my friends!




Shannon's articles are published monthly on calvarychapel.com.  This article was originally published there.