When the Merry Goes Missing
Hi! And welcome to the first day in a four-day series right here during the holiday season. While most people are sporting their Ho, Ho, Ho sweaters with a grin uncomparable any other time of the year, there are those of us who struggle to be happy the season is here. The merry is missing, and you don’t know how to find it. Because this is a real issue, we need to take it to the only One who can help, and that is Jesus Christ.
You have permission to struggle here. Take your less-than-giddy self before the Lord. Ask Him to speak to you and help you find your merry.
Read the following passage from Hebrews.
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness
(for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath,
But this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’”
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office,
But he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:18-25
Day 1: 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 uttermost, 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.
You can also find a version of this plan at www.bible.com or on the free YouVersion app.
with much affection,