Have A Mary Christmas
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38 (KJV)
Can you imagine what it must have been like for Mary on what seemed like an ordinary evening? An evening that went from quiet to chaos in seconds? A night which was filled with all kinds of commotion and emotions as the angel Gabriel appeared to a young girl whose world was about to change forever? I’m sure she was filled with fear, not knowing what was happening or why at first. Mary had to make a choice and so do we.
December is a month that goes from 0 to 100 mph before the month even begins. It seems like we just sit down after cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas season is here. We begin to think about all the things we need to accomplish, and can already begin to feel the anxiety and fear as it starts to fill our mind, heart and soul. Can you relate to that statement? I know I can.
Where do these fears come from?
- Is it all the added expectations, demands and additional responsibilities?
- Is it fear you won’t be able to meet all your obligations and make everyone happy?
- Is it the fear of not having enough money, time, or resources?
- Is it the fear of going through another Christmas season of being alone?
- Is it the fear of past frustrations, irritations and being overwhelmed?
- Is it the fear of saying “No”?
Christmas can be that season where everything in life becomes a crisis. The sad thing about this is, I have found myself in this trap far too many times. How about you?
What would happen if we were like Mary and understood the value of being quiet in the chaos? What if we changed our fear to courage, to dare to make this season different for ourselves, friends and family, but most of all to honor God?
What if we went against the flow of the commercialism and materialism of this world and looked for more meaningful ways to give that would glorify God?
- What if your gift was to spend time volunteering at a family or friend’s favorite charity or giving a donation in their name to something they are passionate about?
- How about making and spending time with a friend, a family member, or neighbor who needs some encouragement?
- What about writing a heartfelt letter to those you love expressing why they are special to you or to someone who has impacted your life in a positive way and letting them know how they have influenced you?
- What if you purchased gifts that have the value of impacting other lives beyond the person you are giving a gift to, like a piece of jewelry or a handbag made by women who are now in safe homes after being freed from Human Trafficking?
What if like Mary, we did the hard thing and asked God what He wanted us to do this Christmas season, instead of what we think or what we expect or what others expect of us this Christmas?
I want you to encourage you to look for the need (there are plenty all around) ….Listen for a need (there are many people who just desire someone to listen to their heart) ….God will reveal to you what He wants….God may not send an angel to tell you, but He will whisper it in your heart.
Make it a matter of prayer. Ask God to give you a servant’s heart like Mary and to turn over those areas in your life which cause you to feel anxious and fearful. Pray for courage to make Christmas different. Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth, a season to bring joy, not fear. We know there is no peace in what this world has to offer, but Christmas is about celebrating a gift from God, The Prince of Peace.
Let’s seek God on a daily basis rather than an “as needed” basis. Our prayers have the power to divert a lot of crises. Many times we bring on chaos at Christmas because we get distracted and lose our focus on the real reason we are celebrating.
What if we chose His presence over presents? A store bought gift is temporary – it will wear-out, break and become outdated. Its appeal will fade in time and it will no longer even be desired. I’m not saying giving presents is bad, but when they take precedence over finding peace in His presence we can always expect there to be chaos.
Mary chose to be a servant despite what the world would think of her because she understood the value of His presence. Here are some facts:
Mary was a young unwed mother engaged to be married. She knew she would be rejected by almost everyone she loved and her life would change forever. Her focus never wavered in her relationship with God. She chose to be quiet in the chaos. She never worried about how it was all going to come together and knew the risk of what could happen, yet she chose courage over fear. She trusted God with her whole heart and God blessed her.
God will bless us if we are willing to be obedient to His calling, and He will provide the strength and wisdom we need.
Don’t let fear overwhelm you this season. When chaos comes, and it will, allow God to give you the courage to stand strong against the counterfeit joy that the world gives, that will try to convince you that you are missing out on Christmas if you choose quiet over chaos.
Allow God to bless you with His presence all during the season and beyond. His gift is permanent, will never be broken or outdated, and His love is always in style.
Will you be like Mary and when God calls you to do the hard thing, say with courage, “I am your servant, Let it be So!”
Think about these questions:
If you could make one thing different about this Christmas season for you, what would it be?
How will you find quiet in chaos?