I have a confession to make. I’m glad next week is our review week for last week I spent more time pondering the lives of Mary and Martha than meditating upon and memorizing our verse. I’m okay with that as I definitely sensed the Lord pushing me to write about the sisters in the last M & M post and it was He who kept bringing them to mind as my life unfolded last week. No matter what’s on our schedules this week, we can choose the Good Portion as Mary did. He desires intimacy with us above anything we can do to serve Him or others. I love what a pastor once shared about this tale of two sisters. It’s adoration before action, devotion before duty, love before labor and worship before work. It’s truly a matter of priority and balance in our lives. How’s your life measuring up in this area?
Now I don’t think that Jesus wanted Martha to just sit at His feet and do nothing. After all, there are things to be done and He Himself served others. We looked at His own words about His first coming. He came to serve and not to be served. And we, too, are to share in this same mindset as Paul’s words in Philippians exhorted us last week. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Jesus didn’t hold onto His rights as God but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant. A powerful picture to grasp as we focus on the Incarnate Christ this Advent season!
Not only did Jesus empty Himself but Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 8:9 (our verse this week) that He also became poor. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” As I listened to our Pastor read these words from Luke 2 yesterday, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn,” I thought of 2 Corinthians 8:9. There was no room for the King of kings and Lord of lords in the inn. He left the riches of heaven for the poverty of earth. All so that we might become rich. Might – “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
If you’ll allow me just a few more minutes of your time, I’d like to close with these words from J. I. Packer (Knowing God). “For the Son of God to empty himself and become poor meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill-treatment, malice and misunderstanding: finally, a death that involved such agony – spiritual, even more than physical – that his mind nearly broke under the prospect of it. It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely men, who “through his poverty, might become rich.” This Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory- because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever hear, or will hear.”