At heart I am a Mary, but since there are so few Marthas about the place these days I find myself wearing Martha’s shoes, and they are far too big for me to fill and I leave you to imagine the rest. If you ever wore your big sisters shoes as a child you know exactly what I mean. The days leading up to Christmas will just get busier and I think that this is one Mary who will be glad to find a secret closet somewhere to hide in and when the Martha’s have finished with their Christmas preperations they will be sure to find me out … but we won’t go into that.
In the meantime we have the Candles sorted, Communion Wine stocked, rotas typed up and the Church Singers are practising the Carols; this year we will be joined by a bass all the way from Australia. He tells me that 69 years ago he was a boy chorister here so tonight he sat in his old choir stall recalling days of youth and mischief. We don’t have a robed choir anymore, commitment to regular practices and the robes put folk off; instead we have a bunch of cheerful, willing and slightly older folk who like to sing for the sheer pleasure of it.
I like to sit in on the practices and be Mary for half an hour.
Advent is a time for reflection, for sorting ourselves out and asking ourselves some serious questions and ultimately it is waking ourselves up to the possibility that today, tonight, may be the time when the Lord Jesus, our Master returns. And, will He find us about our Master’s business, will He find us awake or asleep – busy as Martha or attentive like her sister Mary…..?
For nearly two weeks now I have noticed that the white rose given to me in consolation is still with me, fresh, fragrant and incandescent; yes this rose glows, brightens the darkest hour and warms me through, wraps me about and this is one Mary-Martha who feels cherished and loved beyond words. I am a woman of many faults but this I know,
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love towards those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103: 10-12).
And when I see Him, I do not think I shall be afraid, this rose lightens the darkness.