Anytime a major holiday such as Easter approaches, the Miller house becomes like a super-circus (because every other day is a normal circus). We have a large family that all live very close to us, so needless to say, all events are all inclusive. My mom is like Miss Plan-it-all-out, in advance, not forgetting anyone or anything (love you Mom!). My husband and I are like Last Minute Larry, throwing gatherings together at the eleventh hour and making ourselves (and everyone else) nuts for the preceding 5. And my sister and her husband are like “Just tell us when to come.” (love you Sissy).

I think most of us get so wrapped up in the traditions, and the “fun- let me get a great picture of this momentous event so I can post it on Facebook and all my friends will be so amazed at how fun and creative I am!” . . . That we lose sight of the actual reason we are even gathered celebrating. Christmas will probably take the cake on this approach because there is just so much going on during that time of year. But, let’s face it, birthdays, Mothers/Fathers Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving . . . They ALL come with their very own unique traditions and (thanks to Pinterest) pressures to be outrageously cute and creative, and make it the most memorable HOLIDAY EVER!!!! AAAAAGHGHGHH! We can literally make ourselves nuts.

This brings me to the story of Mary and Martha. These 2 sisters are hosting Jesus. No pressure, ladies – just hosting JESUS! As you can imagine, there were some preparations going on. Both sisters were preparing Martha’s home to host the King of Kings. He was to speak to the people, as he so famously did. They were baking and cleaning, cooking a meal, preparing linens . . . and the list goes on. I can just see them with their To-Do list neatly laid out and the two of them busting it to get things together. My, how things do NOT change.

However, when Jesus finally arrives, things DO change. Mary stops what she’s doing and goes to sit and listen to Jesus speak. Now, I love to picture Martha’s face when this happened. I mean, they’re sisters, so the honesty just flows freely. Martha is continuing to serve the people, making sure all the food is prepared, making sure everyone is happy and enjoying themselves- she’s hosting her guests. So, at the sight of her sister just chilling on the ground listening to Jesus, I can only imagine what might have happened. “Oh no she isn’t?!” But, as Martha continues to buzz around, obviously frustrated, Mary just continues to sit. In Luke 10:40, Martha even asks Jesus to take note. She says “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” She told on her sister y’all . . . to Jesus!! (I love it!). But Jesus says to her, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

See Mary knew what they were really there for. She did not let the “plans” and the “having everything perfect” get in the way of the truly special thing that was taking place that night. She was content to literally just let it all go, and sit and listen to her Lord. Martha was so wrapped up in keeping everything in order and busting her butt to make sure everyone was taken care of, that she completely lost sight of the most important thing in her house. . . Jesus.

Hearing him speak, and giving her all to him would have calmed her down, filled her up, and still everything would have been just fine. She forgot about the power of Jesus, and the fact that HE would provide all their needs. Absolutely nothing was more important than just being STILL in that moment.

As we step into this glorious Easter weekend, please do not let the chaos of tradition cloud the absolutely incredible miracle that this holiday celebrates. Jesus gave his life for you, for me, for all of us. He is love, he is kindness, he is the perfect picture of true sacrifice. This incredible act of love forever thwarted the plans of the devil in our lives and placed within us the power of the Almighty God. Never forget that.

Honor his gift with your attention, your intention, your actions, and your words. Place your focus on Him, seat yourself at His feet, let go of psychotic chaos this weekend and FIX YOUR EYES ON HIM. Remind your children, remind your family, remind your friends, remind YOURSELF- Easter is a celebration of love and sacrifice.

Yes, take your cutsie Easter pics, yes go have Egg Hunts, engorge yourself in candy and yummy brunch, and enjoy the company of your family. But when you find yourself stressing about those things, and giving all that lovable nonsense center stage, take a step back, take a deep breath . . . And let it all go.

Lift your gaze to the one that loves you, and whose eyes are always fixed on you.

Happy, Happy Easter!

He. Is. RISEN!

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jill