Advent Day 10: Read: Luke 10 (or at least verses 38-42)

This chapter concludes with Jesus’ visit to the home of Martha and Mary. It appears that Martha was the one who extended the invitation to Jesus and his disciples to come and eat in her home. When Jesus arrived, Martha busied herself preparing the meal while Mary sat with Jesus and his disciples to listen to Jesus’ teaching.

In my mind, I imagine the scene. Honestly, I would be Martha working hard in the kitchen, all the while wanting to be sitting at Jesus’ feet. But I would feel responsible for making sure the meal was well prepared and presented with precision.

Our family likes to have a dinner together at least once a month. I confess that on more than one occasion, I found myself seriously frustrated. Why? The children and their spouses came and grabbed an appetizer and/or drink and went to the living room to play with our granddaughters and chat about their lives. I was in the kitchen busily finishing meal preparation, completely missing out on the fun conversation that was happening. I found myself saying right along with Martha, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister (read children) just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her (them) to come and help me.” Luke 10:40

After several of these frustrating events, I changed my approach and did one of two things. Either I worked really hard in advance to have the meal prepped and mostly ready so I could join my family in the living room. Or I divided the meal responsibility with my children and we prepared the meal together. This moved the friendly banter and catching up to the kitchen.

When I read about Mary and Martha, I can’t help but think about holiday gatherings that will take place over the next number of weeks. Perhaps the lesson I learn from Jesus’ admonition is to place value on what is truly important. Connecting with family and friends is more important than what we eat. I have to ask myself how I can make the food simpler so I don’t miss important conversations.

This seems really practical and yet it is this kind of conflict that ruins a gathering of great a potential.

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42

How about you? Do you relate best with Martha or Mary? What can you do to make your holiday gatherings the best they can be?

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