The One Thing You Need This Christmas

Amid the hustle for gifts, trimming the tree, and baking treats, let us not forget the one thing we need this Christmas.

I love the sound of Christmas carols blaring over the department store speakers as I shop for presents during the holiday rush. One of my favorite carols says,

“Come and behold Him, born the King of angels, O Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

“O Come, let us adore Him”…Isn’t this reminder to worship just what we need during this busy Christmas season as we are running errands, fighting crowds, waiting in long lines, browsing the toy aisle, or shopping for groceries? What a wonderful call to:

  • to recalibrate our gaze from the pursuit of must-have toys and endless to-do lists, 
  • to slow down amid all the merry-making things: the shopping, the baking, the cleaning, wrapping gifts, and hosting friends. All.the.things
  • and to remember Christ.

Martha and Mary

There is a story in the Bible about a woman who lived long ago and was trying to accomplish all.the.things. Jesus came to her house and Martha put on her hostess-with-the-mostess hat. She was capable and efficient, and I imagine her busy whipping up dinner and trying to get everything just right. Busy, busy, busy.

But in her flurry of activity, she lost sight of the fact that she was literally serving the Lord (in her actual house, under her physical roof) and yet she was disgruntled and “troubled.” She was offering hospitality to the One who has no needs, from whom all things originate, the Lord who turned water into wine and fed the multitudes with a small boy’s lunch, who could have spread a feast on her table with one word, and she was acting as though it all depended on her.

 She started looking inward at all she had to do and was doing, she looked around and noticed that her sister wasn’t doing her fair share, and she looked to Jesus, but not in a teachable way. She started to tell Jesus what to do. Bossy, bossy, bossy. Martha’s “many things,” though good things, became ruling things that distracted her from her Lord.

But the Lord answered her,

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 ESV

Martha made a choice and Mary made a choice. Mary’s choice led her to sit and be still and listen to her Lord. Jesus commended her.

One Thing This Christmas

We may sympathize with Martha because we can relate to needing last-minute help in the kitchen…and it may be easy to be annoyed with Mary because she was nowhere to be seen when the gravy needed to be thinned and the rolls were burning. 

It may look like Mary took the easy way out, but did she?  I think Mary made the harder and better choice, to sit still and listen and behold the Lord.

Pastor John MacArthur says:

“Mary’s humble, obedient heart was a far greater gift to Christ than Martha’s well-set table. This establishes worship as the highest of all priorities for every Christian.  Nothing, including even service rendered to Christ, is more important than listening to Him and honoring Him with our hearts.”

Worshiping God is the one needful thing that must not be lost amid even our good Christmas celebrations and traditions. 

When was the last time you truly worshiped God?

How long has it been since you read His Word and prayed and were still in the presence of God? Still. As in, quieted, satisfied, submissive, yielding— nothing to say or dictate, no agenda but to know Him, acknowledge Him, and adore His presence?

And if it has been a while, have you replaced worship with service? 

So much clamor for our attention this season.

Advertisers tell us that if we do more, and buy more, we’ll be happier.

God says to be still. Adore Him.

Come, let’s take a few minutes today to worship, be still, truly adore, and go through our day aware of His presence, submitted to His will, and active in His service to love others and exalt Him. This is what we need today! 

Sarah Beals is a wife, mother of six, and grandmother of 6. She lives in beautiful New England and writes about Christian living, home education, hospitality, and creative pursuits at and on Instagram.

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