Weapons of Mass Distraction

Photo by birgerking Weapons of Mass Distraction film 1997

Photo by birgerking Weapons of Mass Distraction film 1997

 

The song It’s The  Most Wonderful  Time of the Year is ringing in my head.

Christmas can be that. It can be a Season of Joy where we connect with others & with God in new and refreshing ways.

We are surrounded by media that puts unattainable  expectations on Christmas . Everything I hear these last couple of weeks is about how busy we are & how frantic everyone feels about doing Christmas ‘right’.

We feel  pressured to do more, spend more and be more than humanly possible.

We are distracted from experiencing  the Reason for the Season- the coming of Immanuel into our world and into our lives.

We have expectations of having  a Hallmark Christmas  this year.

There will be a  perfect tree, perfectly behaved children, perfect gifts  & baking without calories.   The  snow on Christmas Eve will cover the lawns but not the roads . It will fall from a starlit sky & will cease at midnight. Did I mention the perfect family gathering even with crazy Aunt Mildred & grumpy Uncle Ambrose  in attendance ? My apologies to any Mildred or Ambrose feeling slighted right now. Problems with anyone  called Bob or Mary may be  still raw from last year.

 

Core Lies

I believe the  unattainable expectations promoted by the media are actually burning arrows shot by the Evil One. They ignite  Core Lies.

Core  Lies are ingrained in early childhood often before age 5.  They are the result of something that happened or something that is heard.

The core lies are

  • I’m a disappointment
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m defective
  • I’m too much to handle & will get rejected
  • It’s all my fault
  • I’m helpless ;  powerless to fix this
  • I’m unwanted/unloved
  • I’m bad

These lies  form our  worldview & are the foundation of our  motivations.

Most importantly they define our view of our self , our view of God & of our relationship with Him.

We will  either work  tirelessly to prove the lies are wrong or  give in to to them.

We end up feeling discouraged, defeated & depressed.

We are disappointed in ourselves.

We feel guilty.

 

Doing Christmas ‘Real’ not ‘Right’

How do  we move past the discouragement, disappointment & defeat?

How do we let go of the guilt?

How can I do Christmas ‘real’ instead of ‘right’  this year ?

 

Doing Christmas Right

Is Experiencing

The Reality

Of Someone

Already Here

Photo by incourage.me

 

 

Clues to doing Christmas ‘real’  are found in the in the story of Martha & Mary .

The Point of the Story

The story of Martha and Mary is a familiar one. Martha gets much bad press  & Mary is  applauded.

I believe that the point of the story is not about busyness vs devotion

The point of the story is about dealing with:

  •  distractions
  •  fear of failure
  •  getting it wrong
  • disappointing others
  • core lies that distort our worldview

Mary, Martha & their brother Lazarus grew up in the same home.

We don’t know anything about their childhood.

We don”t know why the sisters were so different.

We don’t know why Martha was so distracted by the details of Jesus coming for supper.

We only know she almost missed enjoying the event because of the anxiety over the details.

 

Luke 10: 38-42 

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving and she approached Jesus & said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha you are worried & troubled about many things. But one thing is needed & Mary has chosen that & it will not be taken away from her.

 

The Encounter

It is only in this gospel  that we note the following: ‘And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.’

The issue is not as is frequently taught that Mary put her relationship with Jesus first while Martha was the worker, the anxious one, the sister with misplaced priorities; the one that was chastised by Jesus.

The issue is that even though she spent time with Jesus, welcoming him warmly into her home she was too distracted to benefit from the event.

She was too distracted [worried, pulled away by, anxious, overly occupied and too busy] to be at peace and enjoy the time with Jesus in her home.

When she did finally approach Jesus it was with complaint, resentment and bitterness.

Expressing the emotions, the bitterness, the anger, the frustration to Jesus is not the problem.

I believe that the problem for Martha was that she never looked in Jesus’ eyes.

She never caught that subtle smile, maybe even a ‘wink’ that communicated his love, his approval, his pleasure in her.

She missed his comfort.

She lost the joy of the event.

She was locked in the past & in the future and lost the present.

If we could read the rest of the story we would find that the words: ‘Martha, Martha ….’  were words of welcome spoken with eyes of love.

 

Your Turn 

Ask Jesus

  • What are my distractions?
  • What is pulling me away from the comfort & peace?
  • How am I being invited to do Christmas ‘real’ this year?
  • What has robbed me of the reality of Immanuel- God With Me?

Prayer

  • Jesus, today I choose to let You look at me
  • I choose raise my head to look into your eyes.
  • Today I choose to let go of the distractions
  • Today I choose to  just be with You.

 

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle was born in 1961 in a little village in Scotland. Oxygen deficit at birth resulted in a learning disability. She was bullied at school & called ‘Susan Simple’. She was catapulted onto the  world stage when she won the Britain’s Got Talent competition in 2009.  I can only imagine the internal struggle with the flaming arrows she faced.   Tonight I’ve featured Susan’s rendition of Silent Night from her album I Dreamed A Dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply