Today’s guest blogger is Sarah Monson.
“Now as they went 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.”
The season of a Savior, Christmas; we’ve acknowledged and welcomed him in—so did Martha. But she was distracted because she had welcomed him in. With the Messiah in her home much was to be done, accomplished, served; culture demanded it. Expectations would expose the actions of her sister as insufficient, as wrong. To serve, that was her duty, her role and purpose. Mary too was distracted, but what had called her attention?
“She went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has let me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.”
The Prince of Peace; yet we’re anxious and troubled by the many things—so was Martha. Overwhelmed and burdened by the magnitude of what she could do, that Mary should do. It was the standard, it was expected. Mary too had many things, but they were being received, not given.
Emmanuel, God with us; we have the presence of God in our lives—so did Martha. Physically present in her home, but serving removed her from his presence and peace. God is with us, but are we with him? Mary too had the Savior; she left the things that would’ve taken her time and took her time to be with Jesus.
Jesus said, “One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
What has culture or Church tradition demanded of us that Christ never required; where is our heart in conflict between culture and calling? You won’t earn his approval with gifts, programs, or ten guests to a service, he loves you as you are. Choose to come to the Master.
Where is the Church affirming our distraction? Has the Body become more focused on serving and giving to each other than sitting at the feet of Jesus? Christmas isn’t for all the things, it’s for one thing. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And after the meals have been eaten, all the gifts unwrapped, and the final rehearsal completed there is only one thing that will not be taken away. But did we ever take the time to choose it?
Might Jesus be saying to us today, “Church, church, you are overwhelmed and anxious about many things: I am the only thing that is necessary.”
Sarah Monson is a photographer located in Madison, Wisconsin. A young creative, she has a passion for using art and media to share God’s story of redemption with the Church.