Only One Thing

by Melissa Heiland

How I love Christmas! I love the essence of Christmas, which is the birth of my Savior. I love the precious time spent with my family. Everything that represents Christmas brings me joy—the tree, the lights, the gifts, the traditions. And yet, as the days draw close, I admit that I also find myself with a pit of dread in my stomach. These traditions that bring me so much joy, require so much time in my already too busy schedule.

My mind is drawn to the story of Mary and Martha. When Jesus came to the home of these sisters, Martha worked hard (cooking and cleaning, I imagine) preparing for Jesus, while Mary sat at his feet listening to what Jesus was saying. I confess that I identify most with Martha. I have often thought that if Mary would have just helped her sister, Martha would have been able to sit at Jesus’ feet too.

But I am wrong. Jesus commended Mary and corrected Martha. I need correction too. Like Martha, I get worried and upset about many things. In his words to Martha, Jesus reminds us that only one thing is needed—to keep Him at the center of our hearts.

This year, I want to be different. I want to focus on the wonder and not the worry. Like Mary, I want to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. Christmas is a magical time, a time of wonder and joy. It is a celebration of life. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus came to give us abundant life. Abundant life is found, not in doing more, but in doing less.

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 from her. Luke 10:41,42 NIV

In the flurry of all the activity, I want to be intentional, focused on one thing: worship. I want the cry of my heart to continuously be, “Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” As I shop and bake and wrap and decorate (I will still do these things), I will worship. With God’s help, this season will be a time of sincere reflection of the miracle of God sending His Son to be born in a manger to save the world.

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Melissa Heiland is the Founder and President of Beautiful Feet International, a mission organization that plants pregnancy ministries around the world. She is an international speaker and author who is passionate about mommies, babies and sharing the Gospel. She has written devotionals for pregnant moms, new mothers and short-term mission teams, as well as a children’s book based on Psalm 139. She and her husband Ken have 6 children and 5 grandchildren.

Part devotional, part pregnancy journal, A Mother’s Journey has forty chapters that correspond with each week of pregnancy, offering comfort and spiritual guidance to those facing challenges. Each week’s reading includes Scripture verses and a journal prompt, as well as information about your baby’s development at various stages to help you get to know the little one growing inside you. A Mother’s Journey is a great resource to help you connect deeper with your baby, yourself, and your heavenly Father.

Join the conversation: How are you keeping Jesus at the center of your Christmas celebration?


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