In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visits the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary enjoys spending time with Jesus, but Martha gets distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. Frustrated by her preparations, Martha asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her.

Jesus responds to her by saying, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 NLT).

The lesson is pretty straightforward: if you’re too busy to spend time with Jesus, then you’re too busy.

Christmas can feel overwhelming. We have gifts to buy and wrap, cards to mail out, decorations to hang, gatherings to prepare for and attend, tense relationships to navigate, etc. Many people dread Christmas because it feels like one more colossal thing to do on their already overloaded to-do list.

Thankfully Jesus offers us a better way. Instead of an obligation to do more things, Jesus offers us an invitation to sit with him and be refreshed.

In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls (NLT).

The key to a more relaxing Christmas is to spend less time doing stuff and more time being present with Christ.

Jesus doesn’t need something from you, He wants something for you. He doesn’t need you to do stuff for Him; He wants you to spend time with you. He doesn’t want you to buy more presents; He wants you to be present with Him.

Carve out some extra time this week, even if it’s just a few extra minutes each day, to spend with Christ. Scale back on some of the things you were planning to do so you will have more time to rest in Jesus. You’ll be glad you did.

Going Deeper

1. What are you feeling stressed-out about this Christmas season? Why do you think these things are causing you so much stress?

2. What do you think Jesus would say to you about those things?

3. What do you need to say no to or stop doing so you can say yes to being more present with Jesus and the people you love this week?

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