“It’s happened,” a friend of mine told me over coffee this week. “I hate Christmas,” she said. Oh, she’s not a scrooge, in fact she may be one of the most Christ-living-following women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And I’m not a scrooge; in fact I adore the gift giving and the Christmas happenings. However, the parties, the food, the goings and comings, the lights, the lists, the presents and the wrappings of Christmas have taken over my mind this week. I knew it would be a tough fight this year and I knew I was weak but I was hopeful. I was hopeful that I would remember and focus on the real truth of Christmas – the birth of God into this human world. But the power and trappings of this retail-frenzy we somehow call “Christmas” overtook me. So when my friend whispered these unusual words, “I hate Christmas”, my heart heard and I was jolted.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “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 10:37-42 New International Version
So, Yay! for Martha as she too struggled with the trappings of preparations. Yes, the distractions of Christmas are what my friend revealed in her comment. I read these bible verses and wondered again why I get so very distracted. I’m distracted by food preparation and by my gift list. I’m distracted by errands and by Christmas baking. I’m distracted about the upcoming Christmas Eve service and how long it will last and what plans we have after it. I’m distracted by my selfishness and the selfishness I see in others. I’m distracted by relationships - who is arguing or who has their feelings hurt?I suddenly find myself as the family peacekeeper when the actual peace-bringer is waiting for me in His manger.
The God my spirit craves is waiting for me to come, kneel, and listen. He’s whispering to me, “Kathy, Kathy you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. I’ve come into this world – your God, your creator, your redeemer, your Saviour. I AM what you seek. I AM what your heart craves. I make you complete. Yes, My manger is lowly and quiet. I wait for you in your world. Come see me, touch me and KNOW I am born. Then you will have chosen what is better and it will not be taken from you.”
He's whispering these words to you too. Go find Him in the quiet. Let's force ourselves from the distractions and choose "what is better and it will not be taken away."
Merry Christmas – Christ is born indeed!
From Scott Elliff:
From Scott Elliff: