This Christmas, why not give the gift of “sitting and listening” to a mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, or friend? (Attention husbands who read girltalk but are too manly to admit it: if your wife has small children, we recommend this gift come with the promise of a few hours of alone time.)
Here’s our “Five Days of Sitting Out Christmas” gift list. Choose one from each category. Tie with a pretty ribbon. Slip in a babysitting coupon or a Starbucks card. Give the “one thing” they need the most this year.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
FIVE GOOD BOOKS
1. “Preaching the Gospel to Yourself”
The Gospel Primer
by Milton Vincent
Esther and Ruth
by Iain Duguid
by John Kitchen
Basics for Believers
by D.A. Carson
Praying the Lord’s Prayer
by JI Packer
The Valley of Vision
by Arthur Bennet
4. Short Daliy Readings
I Exalt You O God
by Jerry Bridges
Pierced by the Word
by John Piper
Beside Still Waters
by Charles Spurgeon
5. Bible Survey
The Message of the Old Testament
by Mark Dever
The Message of the New Testament
by Mark Dever
1. Hope Rising by Fee
2. Sons & Daughters by Sovereign Grace Music
3. We Shall Not Be Shaken by Matt Redman
4. Glorious by Paul Baloche
1. Magnet Black
2. Small Purple Flowers
3. Vetro Stamped Brown
TWO PRETTY PENS
1. Parker Pen
2. Retro Pen
AND ONE VERY LOVELY BIBLE
ESV Thinline Sky Blue
“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.’” Luke 10:40
According to Martha, Mary picked the wrong time to sit and listen to Jesus’ teaching.
“C’mon Mary”—you can almost hear her say—“after dinner, when the crockery is put away and the floors swept, then you can sit and listen to Jesus to your heart’s content. But right now there’s work to do!”
Sounds reasonable to us. But Jesus disagreed. He thought Mary’s timing was perfect.
Let’s take our cues from Mary. We shouldn’t wait until things settle down after the holidays. We shouldn’t postpone listening to Jesus until January 1. We must choose to sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching today: right in the middle of the Christmas crazyness. And we must strive to do so every day after.
We can’t afford not to. “Man does not live by bread alone,” God declares in Deuteronomy 8:3, “but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Just as we can’t survive without physical food, neither can we thrive without spiritual food. We cannot live without God’s Word. As our bodies require daily physical nourishment, so our souls need daily spiritual nourishment.
Our morning bowl of cereal won’t sustain us for three weeks. Neither can our souls subsist on one dose of God’s Word. As D.L Moody explains:
“A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.”
We can’t truly live unless we sit and listen. So let’s daily “take in a supply of grace” through God’s Word and prayer.
“Mary…sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.” Luke 10:39
We’re still “Sitting Out the Holidays.”
What are we sitting and listening to? Jesus’ teaching. It is the one thing, the only thing, that is necessary.
The next question is where: Where should we sit and listen?
Mary chose the floor. She literally sat at Jesus’ feet. Now obviously we don’t have to sit on the floor to have our devotions—not unless we want to!
Mary’s choice to sit at Jesus’ feet revealed the location of her heart.
It displayed her eagerness to listen to His teaching. It revealed her zeal to learn and grow. She wanted to hear every word, absorb every word, and submit to every word that came from her Lord’s mouth.
The floor was simply the best spot for that to happen.
Sitting at the Lord’s feet doesn’t imply what position our body should be in; it represents what position our heart should be in. Where we sit has nothing to do with body posture and everything to do with the posture of our heart.
Mary approached her Lord with a posture of humility. She sat before her Lord as a hungry learner, an eager student. We should come to God’s Word in the same way.
So where’s your heart this holiday season? Is it running frantically through the mall? Is it gazing longingly at an unwrapped present? Is it mingling with guests at a holiday party?
It’s not enough just to sit. There’s a special place we must sit. We must sit at the Lord’s feet. We must come to God’s Word with a humble heart: eager to learn, ready to receive, and determined to obey.