Tis the season to be jolly, right? You read the greeting cards, see the advertisements, observe the storefronts and sing the songs. It is the season to be merry to share joy and capture happiness. But as I read those words and have even uttered them myself, I wonder what if we were to do more than be merry, but be like Mary.
Be Mary. How can we be Mary? We can’t actually become Mary and we can’t be a clone of Mary, but we sure can look to her for modeling what it is like to worship the King. Mary didn’t waste time with little details, she grabbed hold of the biggest detail in her life and made everything else going on fade into the background.
“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.” Luke 10:38-39
Mary sat at the Lord’s feet. She wasn’t busy tending to one thing or another, but she stopped what she was doing and sat at his feet. How many of us regularly sit at the feet of Jesus? How many of us are guilty of not giving him two minutes out of our twenty four hours to just sit with him? Life has so many demands on us, yet, shouldn’t we, as children of God, spend time sitting with Him? I think about my own children who love to sit next to me on the couch and I mean squish their bodies as tightly next to mine as they can, if not plop themselves on my lap. Something about touching me makes them feel closer to me. There is something about sitting closest to the one we love and just touching, listening, hearing and being in their presence that makes everything seem okay. My kids get that, do I? Do you?
When my life is chaotic, my schedule is running wild with appointments and activities, it is vital that I spend time with Jesus. In his presence I find peace. When I sit with him, my doubts disappear, my hope is revived and my strength is renewed. Without time with Jesus, I am depleted, disarrayed and fragmented, but time spent with him keeps me collected. How about you? Do you find that when you are out of sorts or out of balance with your schedule and devotional time, you are more scattered brain, the patience tank falls towards empty quickly and your anger heats up faster than normal? I can relate. We need to be like Mary so we can be merry. When we unplug from our life source, our functionality decreases and our joy deflates.
Mary didn’t just sit at his feet though, the Bible says she listened. This sitting with Jesus business isn’t one sided. We don’t just sit there and offer up all of our prayers and then walk away, because more times than not, Jesus has something to say back to us. Sometimes he wants to whisper and share with us, too, and sometimes we need to say nothing at all, just listen to what he wants to speak to our heart.
Mary let the distractions go. She let the busyness fade into the background and took the time she needed in Jesus’ presence. Read what happens in this story, next:
“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!” Luke 10:40
What do you think Jesus did? He replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
And there is the word in its truest form, chosen.
The bottom line of how to be merry and be like Mary is about a choice. A choice to let distractions fade, a choice to take time and sit with Jesus and a decision to listen for his voice. It all comes down to the one word which Jesus himself uttered: chosen. This week, this month, as we choose to be merry, will you choose to take time to be like Mary and sit at His feet?