Christmas…is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
Is anyone actually deriving true joy from “the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer”?
I do love the twinkling lights, the beautiful carols, and the special events. It is such a lovely and peaceful season. Or is it?
My hopes of a silent night are usually crushed when my brain will not turn off and let me enjoy the smell of fresh baking and the sight of a softly lit Nativity scene.
It’s like the news ticker that is constantly scrolling across the bottom of the screen with the latest updates on the happenings of the day. Only in my brain it is the constant scrolling of all the hopes and dreams I have for this Christmas season.
I want to buy gifts for 17 people! I want to attend 13 events! I want to host 11 events! I need to shop and prepare food for these people and events.
Lists. So many lists.
This just in: my shopping bill is pushing into the category of outrageous. Maybe making some presents will save the budget! Running out of time. Back to the stores.
Breaking news: the shopping mall is a zoo! Parking. Crowds. Lines. Pleasant small talk. Unpleasant small talk. And on and on it goes.
Somehow in all the busyness, I can lose sight of the amazing wonder of the Advent season. I can miss countless opportunities to reflect on the celebration of Jesus Christ.
God’s Word helps us keep Christmas in proper perspective. In the gospel of Luke, Mary received the wonderous news that she would become the mother of the Messiah. In Luke 1:46-55, Mary joyfully responded in a song of praise. Here are four aspects of her response that can help us to slow down and consider Christ above all this Advent season.
Mary Rejoiced in Her Spirit
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices” (Luke 1:46).
Mary was so elated about the good news that Jesus Christ was coming that she worshipped from her inner most being. She could not help her soul from exalting her Creator, and her spirit from overflowing in praise.
May we reflect on our magnificent Lord this season, and invite the Holy Spirit to help us give glory to God with worship from our innermost being.
Mary Realized Her Salvation
“My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant” (Luke 1:47b-48a).
The first thing Mary gave praise to God for was her salvation. She realized the arrival of Jesus meant that God was providing a Savior for his people, in spite of her humble position by worldly standards.
May we reflect on our salvation this season, as we realize that the coming of Christ means redemption for His people.
Mary Recognized God’s Sovereignty
“For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:49).
Mary acknowledged that the plan of salvation was entirely orchestrated and implemented by the mighty and perfect One. Following this statement, she recognized a number of ways that God had demonstrated His great power and holiness for generations.
May we reflect on God’s sovereignty this season, as we recognize that He continues to unfold His brilliant plan of salvation history.
Mary Remembered the Scriptures
“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, Abraham and to his offspring forever” (Luke 1:55).
Mary was familiar with the Old Testament prophecies given to her forefathers that a Messiah would come. She recalled the promise that God would bless all the families of the earth through Abraham. The arrival of Jesus Christ fulfilled the Word of God that had been given generations ago.
May we reflect on God’s Word with season, as we remember all of the promises that are fulfilled in Jesus.
It is possible that Christmas could be the most wonderful time of the year?
Might we dedicate this season to remember the true and enduring joy available to us through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Might we share this message with others as the actual reason we can be of good cheer.
As we hurry around this Christmas getting through all our lists, may we pause to reflect on the main event of the arrival of the Messiah. Let us invite the Holy Spirit to help us rejoice in our spirit, realize our salvation, recognize God’s sovereignty, and remember the Scriptures.