“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.’” Luke 10:41 (emphasis mine)
There are “many things” to do before next Thursday’s turkey dinner. (You may be scribbling a mental list in your head right now!) But the Savior’s wisdom can radically simplify our holiday. For, as he told Martha: “only one thing is necessary.”
What is this “one thing?” What are we to “sit and listen” to? Our Lord’s teaching.
There is nothing more important than hearing the Lord speak. It’s the one essential thing, the only thing that is necessary.
Mary understood. She longed to know Jesus, to learn all she could about Him. She wanted to hear everything He said. She didn’t want to miss one word that came out of His mouth. So she sat down right smack in front of the Lord so she could listen to His teaching.
Now Jesus wasn’t suggesting that Martha’s serving was wrong or even unimportant. I’m not suggesting we skip Thanksgiving dinner and encourage our family to “hit the pantry” instead.
Serving is important. Our Lord also taught us: “The greatest among you shall be your servant.”
But serving is not the most necessary thing.
There is only one thing that is truly necessary—listening to the Lord speak.
So as we head into the holidays, as we face the temptation to be distracted with much serving, or tempted about many things, let’s remind ourselves of Jesus’ words.
Should I be serving? There is one thing more necessary!
Should I be worrying? This is completely unnecessary!
There is only one thing that is necessary.
And what is that?
To sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching, that’s what!