Continued from yesterday.
We know little about Mary Magdalene's past except that Jesus healed her from seven demons. (Mark 16:9) Mary Magdalene is listed with several other women and it is implied that they were women of wealth who used their own money to serve Christ and his disciples. These women watched as Jesus suffered on the cross, then took spices to his grave. Mary Magdalene found tangible ways to show her gratefulness to Christ, and she was rewarded by being the first to see the risen Saviour.
Mary Magdalene gave her wealth, her time, her comfort, her reputation—to serve Christ. She served extravagantly; spices were expensive at that time. Neither do I need to be ashamed to serve others with special touches that say, “I love you.” But Mary Magdalene wasn't serving for her own glory; she was serving Christ.
Christmas shouldn't be about me, but how often are my motives to impress others? How many of my holiday traditions stem from the pressure of obligation or bondage of approval? What is my goal—to have some great photos for my blog? Or do I aim to show the love of Christ by choosing activities that will nourish my soul and the souls of my family and others?
Every December we give homemade Christmas cards to the residents at a local nursing home. I can do this out of obligation, “I should do this.” I can do it out of pride, “Look what we are doing for these poor people.” I can stress myself out trying to make cards that are picture perfect (and end up making them all myself). Or I can allow my two-year-old to color a simple star with her favorite purple crayon and focus on giving the residents a smile. I know what Mary Magdalene would choose.
December may always be a busy month, but all three of these women named Mary had busy seasons. Mary, the mother of Jesus took several long trips when Jesus was small. Mary of Bethany hosted many guests in her home. Mary Magdalene served a hungry band of travelers. Yet all of them found time to proclaim God's grace, listen to His words, and wait for His presence in a quiet garden.
I want to praise my Lord like Jesus' mother, rejecting all the expectations and comparison games that steal my peace.
I want to choose the best and spend time with God's Word like Mary of Bethany. I want to give my time and possessions to serve Christ with joy like Mary Magdalene.
I want December to hold less worry and more worship, less panic and more peace, less jolly and more Jesus.
How do you keep a Mary Heart at Christmas? Or any other time of the year?