By Angie Brown –
Christmas… is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
Is anyone actually experiencing 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 peaceful season. Or at least that’s what I want it to be.
My hopes of a silent night are usually crushed when my brain is transformed into a relentless news ticker that is constantly scrolling with the latest hopes and dreams I have for this Christmas season: hosting… baking… shopping… wrapping… making memories!
Somehow, in all the busyness, I can lose sight of the amazing wonder of the Advent season and miss countless opportunities to reflect on the Incarnation.
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.
We too, can 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, despite her humble position by worldly standards.
We too, can reflect on our salvation this season, as we realize that the coming of Christ means redemption for those who put their faith in Him.
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 several ways that God had demonstrated His great power and holiness for generations.
We too, can reflect on God’s sovereignty this season, as we recognize that He continues to unfold His brilliant plan of salvation through the Incarnation and future return of Jesus.
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.
We too, can reflect on God’s Word this season, as we remember all the promises that are fulfilled in Jesus.
It is possible that Christmas could be the most wonderful time of the year?
I encourage us to make an intentional effort to dedicate this season to remember the enduring joy available to us through the birth, death, resurrection, and future return of Jesus Christ. More than that, might we also 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.
Angie Brown is a pastor’s wife and mother at Southshore Bible Church in Barrie, Ontario. She has a passion for women’s discipleship and loves to study God’s Word with women. Angie is currently studying her DEdMin at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds an MTS from McMaster Divinity College. She writes regularly at www.discerningdaughters.org.