How do we create gracious gatherings? Invite people into an environment of friendly comfort. Serve food that is familiar and delicious. Select decorations that give a cozy feeling of blessing, not impressing. Balance Martha’s skills with Mary’s priorities.
The focus of entertaining is impressing others; the focus of true hospitality is serving others.Tim Chester
Jesus shows us the importance of priorities in Luke 10:38-42: “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister Mary sat on the floor, listening to Jesus as he talked. But Martha was the jittery type and was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Sir, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.’ But the Lord said to her, ‘Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and I won’t take it away from her!’”
Gracious Gatherings need Balance
Mary made Jesus her priority. In striving to serve Jesus and the group, Martha focused primarily on the work at hand. Yes, there is work to do, but we can balance Martha’s skills with a focus on Mary’s priorities.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’” We can make the food and do the stuff, but not forget the whole point of it all is caring, sharing and being a blessing to people.
Seasonal celebrations are one of the most ancient of human traditions. What better way to practice true hospitality?
As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.Genesis 8:22 NLT
Leave a Reply