How to Have the Best Christmas Ever
I recently spoke at Manukau City Baptist Her Event – some of you have asked for my notes – here they are:
Can I start off by being honest with you all?
Christmas to me is…stressful.
It brings out the 2 sides to my personality
1. the meditative side – the deep thinker within
2. organised /task orientated hustle, hustle side
Guess which one is more prominent at Christmas?
Yep the hustle , hustle
The good thing is that I get things done.
The down side is that I get things done so quickly and efficiently that I leave people behind.
Every done that? Or is it only me?
When you put the tasks of Christmas in front of the people around you – you miss the heart and soul of Christmas.
While contemplating my struggle at this time of the year – God reminded me of a true story about 2 women, sisters actually.
They lived 2,000 years ago in a small town called Bethany. One was called Mary. The other Martha.
They had a gathering at their home – sort of like Christmas. Martha invited Jesus to come into their home. The story doesn’t tell us how many people came but I could imagine that the house was pretty full of people.
Mary spent the time sitting at their invited guest’s feet – listening to every word. Enjoying her guest and the conversation.
Martha on the other hand – the one who actually invited Jesus to come – was not listening to her guest she was – the story says – distracted with all her preparations.
Distracted with all her preparations.
Martha was probably in the kitchen cutting up all the food, doing the dishes, cooking the food – all by herself.
She became so distracted that she burst into the room and went right up to Jesus –who incidentally is the son of God – and blurted out “ Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me”
Ever had your children do that? –” it’s not fair that they aren’t doing the dishes with me – tell them to help me!”
The thing is I feel sorry for Martha – she gets such a bad rap for her behaviour. But to be honest I see so much of myself in her. Martha is the task orientated, hustle hustle Queen.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with being task orientated – God made some of us like that. Like me.
But in every situation, there is a choice to make.
Here is the choice and it is a question :
Is what we are doing distracting us from the main attraction?
The main attraction for the 2 sisters in that moment was Jesus.
The thing is that at Christmas – for the believer the main attraction is Jesus.
There are so many preparations before Christmas:
- buying presents
- Christmas parties/ work events
- Organising who is hosting Christmas this year
- Are we doing presents this year with the wider family?
- Events on at church
- Summer camping holiday preparations
It makes me tired just thinking of all those things. It is really easy to become distracted by the preparations. To make the distractions the main attraction.
How did Jesus answered Martha’s outburst? – he said:
“Martha Martha you are worried and bothered about so many things but only ONE thing is necessary and Mary has chosen the good part.”
I find it so easy to become worried and bothered about so many things.
I am challenging myself this Christmas to chose the ONE thing that is necessary.
The Good Part of Christmas.
I want to discover again – Jesus the main attraction.
How do I choose the One thing? How do I make Jesus the main attraction?
The preparations still have to be done. That is a given.
But at the top of my preparations list is to make time – to plan – to do what Mary did.
What was that? She paused.
Pause – this is my one word for the year. And my theme verse for 2016 is:
Be Still and know that I am God. Ps 46:10
I am going to purposefully take time out everyday till Christmas to PAUSE and Be Still and listen to Jesus.
To discover the main attraction of Christmas all over again.
I am going to flavour my preparations with a contemplative stillness.
I throw out this Christmas Challenge to you –
Be a Mary this Christmas – throw off the Martha attitude and discover who the main attraction is. Jesus.
To help remind you – here is a free printable- Either click on this link to download or on the image below.– Be Still and Know that I am God.
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Fellow Travellers – What does Christmas mean to you? What are you doing to remember the reason for the season?
Please comment below – I love to receive your comments!