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Being Martha in a Mary World

Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


Luke 10:42 Some manuscripts but only one thing is needed

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

This scripture tells the story of two sisters who clearly have differing opinions about which things take precedence in life. Which one do you identify with? I can relate to both and sadly admit that many times I have been Martha, missing out on some of life’s greatest gifts. In the year of 1999, I learned a valuable lesson.

Christmastime had always been one of my favorite times of the year. I loved to decorate the house, wrap each gift with the most exquisite taste, set the perfect table and cook the perfect meal. Living in Florida at the time, we had both sides of the family coming together for a wonderful Christmas celebration. The weeks leading up to Christmas day were busy shopping, cleaning house and preparing food. Christmas day arrived and all of the family were gathered together at the table. Everything was “picture perfect.”

As we were eating and comments were shared about how great everything was, in what seemed like an instant, I suddenly became ill. My sickness quickly increased and had to excuse myself to go lie down. I stayed in bed for several days afterwards. So here I was, in the middle of a marvelous celebration. A rare occasion to have many family members together and I missed it! I was busy and worried about many things that did not matter. That year I learned that relationships are more important than anything else. Spending time with the ones most precious to you. Spending time with Jesus.

When all of the decorations are taken down and the presents put away, what will you remember most? The memories of conversations with loved ones are priceless.

Advent is a time of preparation. Let us prepare for the celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus. Spend some time with Him this season.

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