O Come Next Year Immanuel

A 5 week series on finding contentment in Christ during the Christmas season

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried…” –Luke 1:39

Now that’s a line in the Biblical Christmas account we can relate to! Get ready. Hurry. There was even an element of “hurry up and wait.”

Mary was off to visit 6-months pregnant (once barren) Elizabeth. Mary remained there with her 3 months, presumably waiting until the time of John the Baptist’s birth. She hit the road as many of us do: to see family, to confirm God’s Word, and to celebrate.

But there’s a place where most of our “hurry” differs.

She got there, stayed, and praised: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” –Luke 1:46-47

Magnify the Lord this Christmas by Finding Contentment in Christ

In Mary and Elizabeth’s time of anticipation, they both were looking in awe and wonder at God. They, and the nation with them, had been waiting for the Savior to come. God’s timing came as a (remarkable!) surprise and delight.

As we approach the celebration of our Savior being born, we tend to live more like:

O Come O Come Immanuel can turn into O Come Next Year Immanuel when we get overhwlemed with overbooking

We’re so easily overbooked at Christmastime that our hurrying is onto distractions, not celebration.

Rather than magnifying the Lord, we’re zooming in on nostalgia and tradition. We trade rejoicing in God for relief that something else is checked off the to-do list.

Susie Larson, in Your Sacred Yes, warns:

“When we consistently move too fast, we become crisis managers, living more in reaction to the next thing than in response to our king.”

Crisis and contentment don’t mix as well as cocoa and peppermint. Click To Tweet Panic and praise don’t match as well as red and green. Click To Tweet

As Susie’s quote highlights, there’s a difference between reaction and response.

Mary’s hurry to Elizabeth was a response to the angel’s proclamation. She burst into praise in response to the contented joy in her heart, recognizing that the angel’s words were true: “no word from God will ever fail.”

We know His Word never fails. We know that “when the right time came,” God sent His Son, born through Mary, to save us. That’s what we anticipate in the weeks leading up to Christmas- God’s timing, God’s provision, God’s glory.

As we hurry to the next celebration, get ready for the next event, rush through our long list of tasks, and bustle our bunch to anticipate and participate with us….

We can magnify and rejoice in the Lord, contentedly responding to our King as we hurry to behold His birth and wait in wonder for His return.

This celebration season, I’m seeking contentment in Christ. Will you join me for the rest of this 5 part series?

Part 1: It’s The (Maybe) Wonderful Time of the Year

Part 2: O Little Town of Mayhem

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope, #DreamTogetherLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup,  #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory#RechargeWednesday#Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Encouragement, #LiveFreeThursday, #DanceWithJesus#LLMLinkupFaith-Filled FridaySitting Among FriendsFresh Market Friday, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.


17 Replies to “O Come Next Year Immanuel

  1. Loving this series emphasis, Bethany, and smiling over that little phrase lifted from Mary’s story. I hope you’ll have a few quiet moments to look into Jeremiah Burroughs words on contentment at some point during this season. I’m enjoying that read so much!

    1. It is on my list, Michele! Thank you for sharing about him! That phrase from Mary’s story made me smile and stop to ponder, too! Hope you are finding contentment in Him this season : )

  2. Love this, Bethany! What a fresh and humorous word for Christmas time. 🙂 This is powerful, “In Mary and Elizabeth’s time of anticipation, they both were looking in awe and wonder at God.” I pray this can be the same with me.

  3. Well stated Bethany and beautifully written. I find myself at times feeling disappointed over the holidays. I am learning to keep my focus on Christ and cherish the real meaning of Christmas in my heart. I’m so thankful that my Savior humbled Himself to sacrifice for my sins. I want to live this holiday season with joy and not get caught up in the hustle and bustle that can engulf you. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of our Savior’s love. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season and may God bless you and yours.#HeartEncouragement

    1. Thank you, Horace! I find myself feeling disappointed at times, too- what a blessing to remember that what matters about Christmas is Christ, who doesn’t not change and is sufficient (and glorious!) God bless your celebration of His coming as well!

  4. God has been working on me — slowing me down so I don’t depend on a quick retort to check off but rather to think about how I will be — will mold the next moments. The slow lifestyle seriously seeps into every area of life and I am loving it. It is taking me a lifetime to learn but eh, he is willing to walk with me (us) so I am saying yes (over and over and over again lol…). Thanks for this wonderful post, Bethany. (Hugs) and blessings this Christmas season!

    1. I love what He is teaching you, Meg! So thankful He is willing to walk with us : ) Hugs and Merry Christmas to you too!

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