Summary: The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years Day have become a frantic, anxiety filled dash through the holidays. It all happens so fast that we hardly remember any of it!
Mary and Martha
A couple of weeks ago I was watching one of the morning news shows and the reporter began her segment with an urgent warning,
There are only 65 more shopping days until Christmas!
…and she wasn’t kidding.
What was really sad was that it actually affected me!
“65 days! Oh No! But I haven’t even thawed the turkey!”
But that is exactly what this time of year does to us!
The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years Day have become a frantic, anxiety filled dash through the holidays. It all happens so fast that we hardly remember any of it!
I don’t want to alarm you but do you realize how much we have to do in the next few weeks?
Clean the house, mix the stuffing, cook the turkey.
And ask the eternal question, Did these giblets really come out of this turkey?
Then eat very thing in sight, and pass out in front of the football game.
After we wake up from our tryptophan induced coma we have to sit in traffic, find a parking space,
and fight the crowds. Only to discover that everyone is sold out of Tickle Me Power Ranger –Box game
Then we have to pull the decorations out of the attic, untangle the ball of Christmas lights and wonder why half of them are burned out even though they didn’t do anything but sit in the dark for the last 12 months.
We also have to buy the gifts for our family, attend the party for our boss, and bake the cookies for our neighbors, and address all the cards for everyone else.
This is the season of abundance…
The season of a lot. Where there is…a lot of activity, a lot of family, a lot of shopping,
a lot of food, a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure and a lot of stress.
On top of it we feel the relentless pressure to do it all with the patient generosity of Mother Theresa and the social perfection of Martha Stewart.
And it all begins this Thursday.
But while there is still time, before we get swept up into the fury of the holidays, we need to take some steps to ensure we get through the season with our sanity intact. To do that we are going to learn from a woman named Martha and her sister, Mary.
Read Luke 10:38-42
You think hosting your in-laws over the holidays is a lot of pressure? What do you think it would be like having the Son of God over for dinner?
Martha had the chance to host God in her home. She had a unique opportunity create a special memory that she could have cherished in her heart for the rest of her days. This should have been a happy moment, but in the end it became a day of worry and anxiety
We can identify…
This is the season where we, like Martha, have the opportunity to create a warm memory. But if we aren’t careful the only thing we will end up with is a bleeding ulcer.
If we aren’t careful holiday stress can ruin our holiday fun.
If you don’t take care of stress and anxiety, stress will take care of you.
You are worried and upset about many things… v.41
Mayo Clinic- 80-85% of its total caseload was the result of anxiety and worry.
Another article I read quoted a doctor saying 70% of all medical patients could cure themselves is they could stop worrying.
112 million Americas take medicine for stress related symptoms.
Stress has been shown to cause High Blood Pressure, Ulcers, Head Aches, muscle pain, and heart problems.
If we are going to do any physical harm to ourselves this season lets do it by over eating and not over reacting
Martha is slicing and dicing, she is cooking and cleaning. She is consumed by all the things she is doing and overwhelmed by all the things she still needs to do. She turns to ask Mary a question and she realizes that she is all alone in the kitchen.
Looking through the doorway she can see her sister sitting there in the living with everyone else, while she worked alone in the kitchen
And even though she is in a house full of people who she loves and who love her she suddenly feels very alone. Martha is feeling abandoned and taken advantage of and this has caused their relationship to be strained.
And then she just feels angry.
And you can here it in her words.
“…my sister has left me…” v. 40
Where you aware that stress also affects our vision.
It prevents us from seeing anything other than ourselves and our situation.