Finding Merry

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

When the Merry Goes Missing


Christmas time can be void of merriment for many of us. Often life hemorrhages with burdens all year long beyond the energy you have to expend. This heaviness can’t be lifted with the Hallmark channel, a winning ugly sweater or your Aunt Susie’s eggnog.  


Maybe you are having a season like my friend experiencing the holidays for the first time after the loss of loved ones. She can wear her old Christmas sweater but she isn’t welcoming this new normal. 


Or you might understand my neighbor’s lack of holiday cheer who prefers the HOLIDAYS disappear. The pain associated with them is too great. Shortly after the unwanted divorce, an only child died of cancer. In such suffering and loss, the merry in Christmas can be sucked right out.


Impossible health diagnoses, catastrophic losses, and difficult relationship issues are just a few of the realities confronting people. How, then, with such suffering, can we experience the joy we desire for the season?


Recognize we have a Savior who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. 


Jesus lives to intercede for us.


We find this principle in Hebrews where the writer explains how the Old Covenant with the Law, priests, and sacrifices represented the forerunner to the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, the priests were chosen by God to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people and their sins, serving as mediators between sinful man and God. In the New Covenant, God’s Son became the perfect sacrifice, making Jesus, the priest and mediator for us.


Why can you and I be merry in the midst of our mayhem and imperfect circumstances? Because Jesus is interceding on our behalf


Maybe you don’t have the hoopla within for the seasonal festivities. There’s not enough strength. You might not have an inkling how you will even fake a smile, and you fear the emptiness is beginning to show. Remember this: 


He is able to save to the utter most, the one that draws near. 


That means, when you take your situation and your joyless predicament to Jesus, He is going before the throne, Himself. When you and I don’t have the wherewithal to get the twinkle lights untangled, or even utter a half-hearted “Merry Christmas,” He can go the distance on our behalf. 


When you can’t yet find your merry, just draw near.