The Bible introduces the world to an average family coping with a typical sibling rivalry. However, in this case, both sisters are adults, revealing two distinct personality traits. While its unclear who is the oldest, it appears Martha plays the role as the responsible one, working diligently to clean the house, cook and prepare for holiday guests. Like any individual, this work can be exhausting, creating tension with those who don’t help or share in this burden.
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, Luke 10:38-39.
Meanwhile, Mary is drawn in a different direction, like a social butterfly longing to interact with visitors. Jealous of her sisters conversation with Jesus, resentment brews within Martha’s heart. Sensing this bitterness, Jesus serves as a moderator to address this family crisis. According to a doctor who either knew the family or felt this story was worth passing on, Jesus reveals what is better, seizing the time you have with close friends and family.
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. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,” Luke 10:40-42.
Unfortunately, a similar scene is played out in American homes every Christmas. The perfectionists work diligently to make the decorations, meals and the tree just right. On the surface everything is peaceful until someone doesn’t pull their own weight. When this moment arrives at your home, its better to emulate the character of Mary so that you will experience a very Merry Christmas.
by Jay Mankus