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Christmas is to be a season of joy, filled with wonder and rejoicing. Yet Christmas for many may become a time of anxiety, stress, difficulties and even depression due to the ongoing global pandemic. For God's people, this should not be. Let us draw from three scripture texts that seem far removed from the norm to recapture the meaning of Christmas. To have a Mary Christ-mas we must… Learn from Jesus, Long for Jesus, and Live for Jesus !

Learn from Jesus

“. . .Mary who also sat at Jesus’ feet . . .” Luke 10:38-42. We may find ourselves playing the part of Martha when we so desperately need to be found like Mary at the feet of Jesus. It is there, and only there, that we can learn from Him. Perhaps Martha was suffering from AD (anxiety disorder), feeling everyone had left everything for her to do. Many might have a “Martha Christmas” rather than a “Mary Christmas.” Martha invited Jesus into her home, but Mary invited Jesus into her heart to calm the fears and troubles of life. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Make it a Mary Christmas and learn from Jesus.

Long for Jesus

“. . . she fell down at His feet, saying to Him . . .” John 11:28-32. Mary had longed for Jesus to be present at the death of her brother. She knew that Jesus and Jesus only could have made a difference. We long for many things to happen at Christmas time. We like the jingles of this time of year that say, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and “Wise Men Still Seek Him.” Let us be wise enough to make Jesus the reason for every day, not just the Christmas season. Let us long for Jesus like the Father longed for His prodigal boy. Like Mary, we can long for Jesus to make a difference in our lives this Christmas season. Our heart’s longing could reflect that of the 63rd Psalm. “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. 6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. 7 Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. 8 My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me." Make it a Mary Christmas by longing for Jesus.

Live for Jesus

“Mary … anointed the feet of Jesus . . .” John 12:1-5. I once read, “The greatest life lived is a life spent for Jesus.” Here we find Jesus in the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Martha is serving, Lazarus is reclining, and Mary is anointing the feet of Jesus. I believe Mary had no anxiety about what she was doing. Neither the cost nor the criticism stopped her. She was living for Jesus uninhibitedly. The scripture tell us the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil when Mary poured it upon the feet of Jesus. What fragrance will our homes be filled with this Christmas season? I pray that it would be the simple sweet fragrance of spending our life for Jesus. Have a “Martha Christmas!” It just doesn't have the ring to it like, have a “Mary Christmas!” Let’s all have a Mary Christmas by Learning from Jesus, Longing for Jesus, and Living for Jesus… And let our Christmas be a CHRISTmas. God bless you all!