Luke 1: 16-17 My Soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
It’s the day after Christmas and all the presents have been unwrapped and the hustle and bustle and excitement all has died down. It is a peaceful time in our home today but when I was growing up the day after Christmas was not a day I looked forward to. I grew up in a single parent home from the time I was very young and my Mom worked so hard to just make ends meet. Christmas brought the added stress of needing additional money to buy presents for my brother and I. I was the youngest and yet I could comprehend the financial strain my Mom was experiencing. I never asked for anything expensive and learned from a young age to be thankful for the little things. My brother on the other hand would ask for elaborate items that were impossible to afford unless my Mom received a Christmas bonus from her workplace. The years she received such a gift, she would spend the whole thing purchasing the expensive items and other things with a hope to make Christmas the best ever. But what I remember from those Christmases past is that the gifts only made my brother and I happy for the moment. The day following Christmas the blues set in as all of the bonus money had been spent and we were now back to living paycheck to paycheck. I write today to encourage you if you may be experiencing the Christmas blues for whatever reason. I hope this will encourage you to choose Joy as you read the following.
I am so grateful that I no longer live with the Christmas blues in my life. For the last 33 years I have understood that Jesus is the real reason for the season. I no longer expect a certain gift to make me happy but realize that Jesus birth celebrated on Christmas Day is the only true source of joy and hope for the days ahead. I want to encourage each of us to rejoice because Christmas day might be over but the celebration is not! Luke 1: 46-50 is Mary’s response when she realized the baby in her womb was exactly what the angel had told her. Even with the knowledge of the unexpected and the thought of the cost to herself, she chose to magnify the Lord , she chose to rejoice in God her Savior. She acknowledged that God had chosen her, a lowly maidservant to be the mother of the Savior of the world. She proclaimed God had done great things for her and that His mercy was on her life, and the generations to come.
This is the reason to celebrate each day. Our Savior was born and He continues to be our source of hope, peace, joy and wisdom as we live each day for Him.
As we finish the year 2018, may we take some time to reminisce on the great things God has done for each one of us. As we reflect and remember, give thanks for lessons of faith learned through the challenging times as well as the good. Take time to journal what they were and be ready to encourage others by sharing them. May we wake up each day with joy and thanksgiving as we focus on what Christmas Day means to us every day. Let’s keep the celebration going and make the name of Jesus known!