Christmas 2020 has come and gone! Anybody feel like Christmas is a high that lets you down a day later? A lot of people do. It truly is a wonderful time of the year! But so many were compelled, this year, by their circumstances, to return to their former state of mind, sadness, the day after Christmas. That being said, some only experienced the good emotions associated with the Christmas spirit for a very short time. When we truly focus on the real meaning of Christmas, sad and depressed thoughts will have a difficult time completely overcoming us after Christmas.
To be honest, the Christmas spirit should be timeless especially for us! It’s the time designated to celebrate the greatest gift of God to mankind. His Son, who came into the world to die for the sins of humanity…John 3:16! That alone, should incite joy! Christ is the real gift! So we give gifts, during Christmas, in representation of Him and His love…in celebration of His birthday! None of that stops after Christmas or at least, our gifts, our love to Him, should not stop!
How many times I read, saw, or heard the greeting, “Merry Christmas” some days ago, I can’t tell you, but I can tell you this, for many, and especially this year, it was easier to say than receive it. People struggled to survive before, and now after the Christmas season…much more have a merry Christmas the day of.
This year, sadly, more folks struggled financially than in other years. They struggled to make ends meet. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/09/24/economic-fallout-from-covid-19-continues-to-hit-lower-income-americans-the-hardest/. And more struggled in other ways. As a result, some of those same folks are now full of fear, anxiety, panic, and God knows what else, right now. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/26/americans-with-depression-anxiety-pandemic/?arc404=true. This is just a bad time for people for so many reasons and on so many levels. Not to mention the folks that lost a loved one or loved ones simultaneously because of this evil pandemic. They’re full of grief.
“What’s there to be merry about?” That’s a valid question considering all things…the pandemic itself and the issues formed as a result of it. Christmas is wonderful, yes, but it took a lot of strength, in the midst of sadness, sorrow and pain, to laugh, smile, and make the most of it. Believe me, a good number of folks returned to their pre-Christmas days of feeling sad, lonely, down and depressed. Why? Because the Christmas high, to them, is gone, it’s over.
While there may not be a lot that anyone can say or do to lift another’s spirit when so much is going on in life, there is One who can. Jesus really did bring “Joy to the World” when He came…Luke 2:10, https://scriptureand.blogspot.com/2018/12/bible-verses-for-joy-to-world.html. Not only that, He promised we would have joy…Psalm 126:5-6. It’s one of His gifts to you and me! We get to experience unspeakable joy, John 15:11, as we live and bask in His presence. In fact, the spirit of Christmas can be experienced everyday! The scriptures do say in Psalm 16:11, “In His presence is the fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Do Mary and Stay Merry!
Everyday can be merry, bright, and full of joy. I know, some find that difficult to believe. So, what can we do to experience being “merry” before and after Christmas? It’s actually pretty simple! To be merry, do Mary! I’m explaining! So there are different “Marys” in the New Testament connected to Jesus in some way. Here’s an explanation of their individual connections:
- Mary, the mother of Jesus birthed Him, Luke 2:1-20. So she lived in His presence daily, Luke 2:21-52! We already know…”In His presence is fullness of joy!”
Mary of Magdala
- Mary Magdalene, a woman whom Jesus cast out seven devils, Luke 8:2, traveled with Him during His earthly ministry. And His ministry was supported by her and other women. Along with other women, she witnessed His crucifixion. Bottom line, Mary stayed in His presence too. After the crucifixion, she went to the tomb early in the morning on purpose–she longed to be where He was, know His status though He was crucified. Her concerns were obvious. So she went to the tomb. But when she arrived, it was empty. Her heart was sad…troubled. But it didn’t stay sad! Because Jesus appeared to her! He won’t leave you sad, John 20:16-18. As a result, she left that tomb bubbling over with joy! Couldn’t wait to deliver the message given to her to give to the disciples. The Master will give you some “Godwink” moments in the midst of your moments to let you know, “I care for you!”
Mary of Bethany
- Mary of Bethany, a personal friend of Jesus and the sister of Lazarus, was in her sister’s house (Martha) when Jesus came to visit…Luke 10:38-39. This is the same Mary that anointed Jesus’ feet with costly oil. When her sister Martha was busy preparing for her guest, Mary was busy sitting at the feet of Jesus hearing His words! Because in His presence is fullness of joy! If we want to experience the fullness of joy that Jesus gives, we must do what Mary did…sit at His feet. So you think non-stop joy is unattainable? Think again. Because, “In the presence of Jesus is fullness of joy!”
Mary, Mark’s Mother
- Mary, mother of John Mark, is found in the book of Acts. In Acts 12:12, she opened her home to Believers for prayer. It was at her home that Peter went to when he was released from prison. Her son, John Mark, is the author of the gospel of Mark! She was a praying woman!
Mary of Rome
- Mary of Rome, is mentioned in the book of Romans…Romans 16:6. The Apostle Paul denotes her dedication in serving the church. She spent her time serving the Lord as she served His church! You want the joy of the Lord, spend time doing His will…living a selfless life, serving His people, doing for others! It’s a high that won’t let you down!
- Mary, mother of James and Joseph, was with Mary Magdalene when she went to see where Jesus’ body was laid. This Mary hung around the Jesus fanatics. And she stayed in the presence of people that deeply loved Jesus, Mark 16:1. So you want the Christmas spirit all year long? Spend time in the presence of people that joyfully serve the Lord!
In the midst of hardships, there can be fullness of joy! Not saying you won’t have your moments, but I am saying Jesus has His way of accomplishing joy INSIDE of us. When it’s inside, joy won’t be based on circumstances but on Him!
I realize it hasn’t been easy for a lot of folks. Yoking up with Christ can make life easier to bear. You don’t have to bear it alone! Spend time in His presence; experience His joy! Then and only then will you have the ability to choose joy over sorrow, choose joy over disappointment, choose joy in the midst of it all. He did say in Isaiah 61:3, He will give the oil of joy for mourning and the spirit of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
We must trust God, believe His Word is true! When we do, we will walk in the truth of the Word! Again, it’s not easy, but God is the God of impossibility! Yoke up with Him, learn of Him, and it becomes easier. Sit at His feet as Mary did. Take in His Word. Early in the morning, seek Him! And if by chance, you have not experienced the new birth where Christ is birthed into your heart, make the decision, today, to marry Him. Get engaged to Him! Isaiah 54:5 does say, “For your Maker is your husband….the Lord of hosts is His name…..” So start engaging yourself in God-things. Read and study His Word…love on Him as you love and serve others.
He gives joy, peace, healing, comfort, not just for a season but for all time. Every day with Him can be a day of peace, love, joy, happiness. His gifts are timeless; they satisfy! The Christmas message is timeless! It’s for all day, all month, all year, all time for as long as you live!
You want Christmas joy all year long? Or you want to be merry, then do Mary! They all are superb examples with humanly Christian actions to imitate! These ladies were faithful, humble, obedient…these women spent time with Him, loved on Him! As a result, they lived joyful lives! Read more here on the “Joy of the Lord” at, https://www.vanessbooks.com/stand-your-ground.