The Word: The one thing that’s necessary

Published 12:30 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

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The Word

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey

“No matter what anyone says, just show up and do the work. If they praise you, show up and do the work. If they criticize you, show up and do the work. If no one even notices you, just show up and do the work. Just keep showing up, doing the work and leading the way.” — Jon Gordon 

I find myself being a Martha sometimes, how about you? I find myself feeling her pain when reading her story in Luke 10. Martha is hard at work making sure the house is clean, the food is ready, the table is set, the guests are comfortable, drinks are served, appetizer and charcuterie tray is on point, and on and on she worked…and as she works, she notices her sister Mary ain’t doing a durn thing. UGH! Can you feel the tension?! Finally she snaps! “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone (Luke 10:40, CSB)?!” Been there. Felt that. How about you? 

Pause for a second and think of all you have happening in the weeks ahead. Do you ever feel like you are the only one cooking? Feel like you are the one having to do all the decorating? Feel like no one is helping clean up before company comes over? I bet even the dogs and cats sit around the house having the audacity to just lie there and look at you while you’re sweating and feeling those tensions rise trying to get all the work done by yourself. UGH! “Lord, don’t you care that my sister, husband, children, wife, brother, in-laws, out-laws…heck…even the dogs and cats just sit around on their phones or watching tv or are out hunting and we have all the folks coming over tonight, all these gifts to purchase and wrap, all this stuff to get done?!” 

“Martha, Martha”…“Cameron, Cameron”…“(insert your name, insert your name), you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary (Luke 10:41-42a, CSB & Cameron Paraphrase Version).” That one thing? The reason we are here, the reason we get up every day, the reason we have hope, the reason we can thrive, the reason for the season, the reason Christmas is even a thing….Jesus Christ, The Lord of all. No matter what is going on for you the next few weeks, months, years… no matter if anyone helps you, watches you, notices you, cares, criticizes, or compliments you….focus on what life is truly all about. This is so important not just during the holiday season but year round. May each moment be focused on this one thing that’s necessary. 

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at