A. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas – a Happy, and wonderful Christmas
B. But few every really have one
1. A lot of debt
2. A lot of drink
3. A lot of disputes – arguments
4. A lot of disappointments
5. All the while acting like everything is really fine
C. Among Christians, this has become true
1. It is because we are trying to have a Merry Christmas instead of a Mary Christmas
2. The world’s Merry Christmas is really, Biblically a Martha kind of Christmas
3. What everyone needs is a Mary Christmas – not Mary the mother of Jesus, but Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus
A. What is a Martha Kind of Christmas?
1. Lots of people showing up
a. 13 men, their wives, children
b. All at the same time
c. Hungry too
d. Not a bad thing when lots of people love you, and want to come over
e. Quite wonderful!
2. Little Space
a. Little house – not wealthy
b. A 3 bed home – Lazarus, Martha, and Mary
3. Lots of Activity
a. Food preparation
b. Trying to meet everyone’s need – serving everybody’s interest – important to make people feel important to you
c. Then there was Jesus as well
1) He had started out as the reason for them being there in the first place
2) He spoke of heaven, and the peace of God, and God’s way
3) That was going on as well
4. Little to no help
a. Mary is there, but of no use at the moment – her attention is on something else
b. Lazarus is also there, but don’t ask him to help – he’s a MAN
c. It is always the case, when there is lots of work to do for others that few if any volunteer – people just expect that things will be taken cared of
d. Too many Christians will be too lazy this Christmas as Mom, or others are busy trying to be a blessing – and it is wrong
e. Shame on us! Especially us men!
5. Concealed Complaining
a. Loss of joy
b. Martha begins to complain
c. And she complains to God in her home!
d. All because she allowed things to get away with her – out of hand
e. Shame on us when we allow things to get to where we start complaining
f. If you start complaining about Christmas, then you have been a Martha
6. Let’s instead make sure that we have a Mary Christmas!
B. What is a Mary Christmas Like?
1. Same house, same people (can’t control who shows up, or how many), same activities going on
2. Different Priority
a. Jesus MUST be everything this season
b. Not the kids, or the family, or even yourself
c. And KEEP Him the priority in your life and home
1) Kick SANTA out the chimney
2) Kick all the wicked TV programmes OFF the air
3) Break all the wicked drink bottles down the drain
4) NONE of that belongs with a Christian’s home!
d. How to make HIM the reason for this season
1) Sit – have a quiet time
2) Sit at HIS feet – Bible, prayer, at Church – not just ONCE or TWICE a year, but every Lord’s day
3) Soak up all that you can from His presence – you will need it
4) Do everything you do, for HIM (Col 3:17,23)
5) Notice how that PEOPLE will make you complain, but JESUS only gives JOY
3. Different Provision
a. Something Simple (Jn 6:27)
b. So what if it is plain
c. Is it for Jesus’ sake? And is it from your heart, and your best?
d. That will do just fine
e. Not to say that Martha SHOULD be the only one cooking, and cleaning, and moping, and working
1) Martha should have help
2) But Martha was TOO wrapped up in the event, instead of in the eternal
4. Different Proof
a. Martha PROOVED that Christmas is a lot of work – big deal
b. Mary proved that Jesus was life changing
c. What does YOUR Christmas prove?
1) That you single-handedly rescued the Irish economy with your credit card?
2) That your kids will be more spoiled than anybody else’s?
3) That your grave will say, “Here lies a true Shopper” instead of “A True Christian!”
d. Our lives belong to Jesus from the moment we got born again. Make sure your Christmas can prove such
1) In your home
2) At your work
3) Especially to your lost family
A. Folks, I thank God for the Marthas in a Church – it takes Marthas to make a church go
B. But we need to keep a right balance
1. We ALL need to make the Lord a promise this Christmas
2. That we are NOT going to let each other get too busy
3. And all our business will be for Jesus – if for any other reason, it is doomed to failure!