The Better Choice | Luke 10

Welcome to Real Life. It's a fresh, new year!

I haven’t mastered the art of sitting and smiling.
–Ashely Wagner

As much as I love decorating for Christmas, I also love taking down the decorations in January. The clutter is gone. My home feels fresh and clean. Similarly, as much as I fully embrace the fun and activities surrounding the celebration of our Savior’s birth, I also embrace the quiet of January. All the decorating, baking, gifting, and hosting has distracted me. I long to return to the pure, clean simplicity of my love and relationship with Jesus Christ.

This morning, Mary helped me do that. In Luke 10, I read the account of Jesus’ friends, Mary and Martha. Martha graciously opens her home to Jesus and his disciples. As many of us experienced during the holidays, hosting guests takes a bit of work: planning, cleaning, shopping, meal and guest room preparations. Martha’s to-do list is long. She could use a helping hand.

Her sister Mary, however, is just sitting at Jesus’ feet. She is listening, learning, and loving her Lord. This is a rare opportunity to be in close proximity to Jesus and Mary won’t waste it. She is determined to remain as closely planted to Jesus as possible.

In Martha’s eyes, however, Mary’s behavior is selfish. Martha is frustrated, not just with Mary, but also with Jesus. “Lord, don’t you care?” she asks. Don’t you see how overwhelmed I am? “Tell Mary to help me.” The servant is telling the Master what to do. (How often have I been guilty of this, Lord?)

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered (so gently),
“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 away from her.”
(Luke 10:41–42 NIV parenthetical comment mine)

Hospitality is good and important. If Martha did not open her home to Jesus, Mary could not sit at his feet. But while Martha’s hospitality focuses on meeting the needs of her guests, Mary’s hospitality focuses on the guest Himself. Serving Jesus is good; sitting with Jesus is better. Martha focuses on the temporal. A tasty meal and clean home don’t last. Mary focuses on the eternal—Jesus Christ—who will last forever.

This day is full of distractions. There is much to do. But the work will always be there. Today, we can choose to switch focus from a million little things to one big God. More than our service, He desires our hearts. Serving is good. Sitting with Jesus is far better.


My life is too cluttered, Lord.
Like Martha, I am worried and upset over too many details.
As I begin the New Year, help me cut through the clutter and choose what is best.
Remind me. Only thing is needed. Amen.

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