Image from The Nativity Story
Charles Haddon Spurgeon on visiting and merriment and holy joy at Christmas:
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And Mary said, My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46-47
Mary was on a visit when she expressed her joy in the language of this noble song. It were well if all our social communion were as useful to our hearts as this visit was to Mary.
“Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Mary, full of faith, goes to see Elizabeth, who is also full of holy confidence, and the two are not long together before their faith mounts to full assurance, and their full assurance bursts forth in a torrent of sacred praise! This praise awakened their slumbering powers, and instead of two ordinary village women, we see before us two prophetesses upon whom the Spirit of God abundantly rested.
When we meet with our kinsfolk and acquaintance, let it be our prayer to God that our communion may be not only pleasant, but profitable; that we may not merely pass away time, and spend a pleasant hour, but may advance a day’s march nearer heaven, and acquire greater fitness for our eternal rest!
Observe, this morning, the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a “Merry Christmas.” Some Christians, who are a little squeamish, do not like the word “merry.” It is a right good Old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood, and the mirth of manhood in it; it brings before one’s mind the old song of the midnight peal of bells, the holly, and the blazing log. I love it for its place in that most tender of all parables, where it is written, that, when the long-lost prodigal returned to his father safe and sound, “They began to be merry.” This is the season when we are expected to be happy; and my heart’s desire is that in the highest and best sense, you who are believers may be “merry.”
Mary’s heart was merry within her; but here was the mark of her joy—it was all holy merriment, it was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merriment as worldlings will revel in today and tomorrow, but such merriment as the angels have around the throne of God, where they sing, “Glory to God in the highest,” while we sing, “On earth peace, goodwill towards men.” Such merry hearts have a continual feast. I want you, you children of the bride-chamber, to possess today and tomorrow, yes, all your days, the high and consecrated bliss of Mary, that you may not only read her words, but use them for yourselves, always experiencing their meaning—“My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
Delivered on Sunday, December 25, 1864, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
From Thanks2Giving '17
Return to Thinking again
December 1: Being a Pilgrim for Christmas
December 2: Craving Christmas, Desiring Christ
December 3: Strangers on Christmas Day
December 4: Hail Redemption's Happy Dawn!
December 5: Eureka!
December 6: O Henry, the Magi, and the Gift
December 7: Christmas Impersonators
December 8: This Year's Best Christmas Ad?
December 9: Why So Much Joy?
December 10: Where is the Method in the Madness?
December 11: Waiting for Redemption
December 12: Winter for a Reason
December 13: A Special Little Christmas
December 14: Mary and Holy Merriment
December 15: The Christmas Eve Truce
December 16: His Name Shall Be Jesus
December 17: C.B. and the Meaning of Christmas
December 18: Peace, Not Peace
December 19: Moonless Darkness Stands Between
December 20: He Makes Room for Us
December 21: Speaking of Glory . . .
December 22: A Christmas Carol That's Not About Christmas
December 23: Lessons Learned from Lean Christmases
December 24: All My Heart This Night Rejoices
December 25: The Neverending Gift Exchange
A Concluding Note: Do Not Open Until Christmas 2016
Laura Miller, home for the holidays