Emmanuel - God With Us

My friend Vicki Trapnell shared a devotion at our church's monthly women's fellowship last week. It hit the bullseye with me! It's timely and a perfect reminder of how, if we're not careful, we can miss out on the best.

So I asked her if I could share it with you. I think you'll like it :)

God With Us

When I started thinking about what kind of devotion I would plan for tonight, I thought about our theme literally - God with us.  What if He was physically here with us the way he was with Mary and Joseph on that night so long ago?  

Well, I think that would actually be pretty easy.  Who among us wouldn’t want to hold and cuddle and kiss that sweet little baby Jesus?  But what if Jesus came to my house as an adult?  What if he showed up around dinnertime tonight?  Well, I have to tell you that I was just not ready for company tonight.  I have a lot of things to do to get ready for Christmas.  I don’t have a single decoration up yet!  I have done very little shopping and I would really like to bake some more cookies.  I was rushing around getting ready to go out and I have to tell you that I don’t get a lot of help from my children.  I work so hard to get this whole celebration thing going, mainly for them, and they just don’t chip in as much as I think they should.  They are so busy watching those Christmas specials and playing games and writing their Christmas lists and just doing all the fun things that go along with Christmas time.  But wait…..this sounds so familiar……

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.  But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.  She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work?  Tell her to come and help me.”  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: 38-42

Well, I feel just like Martha must have felt.  I haven’t chosen the “one thing worth being concerned about.”  So, what can we learn from what Jesus said to Martha?  I don’t think He was telling her that there was no value in what she was doing.  Maybe He was telling her that she wasn’t doing it for the right reasons or with the right attitude.  Martha wanted Jesus to make Mary help.  Maybe she was feeling a little bit sorry for herself.  But Mary had understood what the “best part” was and had chosen that and Jesus wasn’t going to take it away from her.  

I think that the real lesson here is to remember the meaning of Christmas and to try to keep that as the center of everything we do.  What really matters most to me when I am getting ready for Christmas?  What is my attitude?

It is so easy to get overwhelmed this time of year.  Everywhere I go I hear the same thing, too much to do and too little time.  It’s so easy to feel like Martha.  It’s so easy to want everyone to help more and to forget the “good part” that Mary chose.  We are all so busy, with shopping and baking and wrapping and decorating.  All things that are good and fun about this time of year……but not the best……not the most important.  

I want to be more like Mary.  I want to have the faith to not worry about the things that don’t get done.  I want to choose the “thing worth being concerned about.”  I want to remember what is really important about this time of year.  I want to remember to keep God at the center of all that I do, not just at Christmas but all the time.  I don’t ever want to be too busy for Jesus to come to my house at dinnertime or any other time.