No, that’s not a typo. It is our sincere hope and prayer — for all of our friends who come upon this greeting – that you will have a Mary Christmas this year, and not a Martha Christmas.
I am referring, of course, to that incident in the life of Christ where he was visiting friends in Bethany.
“And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 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 10:38-42).
Christmas should be a time when we can be more restive, more contemplative. It should be a time when we can step back and appreciate all the good gifts that the Father God has given us, especially the treasure of his Son, our Savior.
Sadly, Christmas tends to make Martha’s of us all. We so much want to show our appreciation to our friends, relatives and coworkers that we tend to be “anxious and troubled about many things.” That goes double for those who find themselves unable (because of illness, distance, or lack of means) to be as generous toward others as we might want to be. Then we find ourselves in the peculiar position of feeling sorry that we cannot be the Marthas that we want to be.
But our Lord said that Mary had chosen the good portion. Marys always win the Christmas lottery. They use the season to get back in touch its real reason. Even if they find themselves overwhelmed by all the things to do, they still find time to rediscover the Gift of Jesus Christ. He is a gift that no one wants to give back.
So, friends, our wish for you is that you will have a Mary Christmas.
Jeff and Penny Vann
Williamsburg, Virginia, USA