“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Last week someone asked if I was ready for Christmas. I said yes. This week…not so much. The last minute baking, food prep, packing for travel and that one-more-box of cards to buy leave me feeling unprepared.
With every task I check off, the to-do list only seems to grow. What happened to being ready?
Mary got it right. She focused on what mattered. She spent time with the Lord rather than bustling around with preparations. Yes, chores have to be done. But approaching the list with a fresh attitude is key.
This Christmas, I’m trying to remember to take a breather. To sit at the fit of Jesus before the preparations of the day. To listen. To pray. I want to focus on what can’t be taken away.
Lord, grant your presence. Be my calm before the day begins, remain during the hustle and bustle, and linger long after the last plate is washed and crumbs are swept.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6
So, how did Jesus walk?
Jesus broke bread and fed crowds; he fried fish for his hungry friends. Jesus broke tradition and spoke with a Samaritan woman. He did not condemn one caught in adultery. Jesus put mud on a blind man’s eyes and welcomed little children. He accepted an extravagant gift of perfume and wept over a good friend’s death. Jesus dipped bread with a traitor and died for sins he didn’t commit.
That’s how Jesus walked.
He walked in humility. He served others. He fully accepted God’s call on his life. Jesus came to connect with people and provide a way to God. He became the bridge to God.
Am I a bridge to God? A connector? I wonder if others find the way to God when they see my life, or do they see barriers that send them in another direction. Would I be willing to break with tradition or muddy my hands if it meant becoming a bridge?
Lord, push barriers away, that nothing keep others from coming to you. Help me walk as you walked.
May others find their way to God
When on my path they trod.
May barriers be pushed aside—
An open bridge beckon wide.
“Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord…” 2 Kings 20:2
When Hezekiah heard that he would die, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. He wept bitterly. God heard his prayer and answered, allowing him to live another 15 years.
Hezekiah went to the right place when he needed help. He turned to face the wall and prayed.
What’s my first reaction to distressing news? Do I take it to the Lord?
May my first response be to face the wall.
Lord, be my first thought. The immediate inclination of my heart. When distress looms and despair grips, may my first reaction be to turn to you. And there, honestly and openly, let me confess the fears and anxieties, disappointments and frustrations, entrusting the battle, the crisis, whatever the news…to you.
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Genesis 16:13 “She [Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'” *
Hagar ran away after being mistreated by Sarai and now, God comforts her. She can return to her situation with confidence in the God who sees and cares for her. God has a plan for Hagar and her yet-to-be-born son, Ishmael.
Not only did God see Hagar, he saw the child in her womb and referred to him as a “wild donkey of a man…he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (verse 12). Ishmael’s destiny was already in place.
One who sees
do take my hand
give strength to return
to a hostile land,
where powers greater
than i have their way
and destiny bends
to divinity’s sway.
by Patty Perkins
*The One Year Bible, January 7, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.
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